Notes from the Surf

Rabbit chasing snake (Video)
You may strike like a snake, but you can never defeat my bunny-like reflexes!

Time travel paradox? (Comic)
Let's hear it for the scientific method.

How to tell the tourists from the locals (Pic)
I guess the only actual locals there would be the ones who are working.

CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years
"It is unclear exactly why CIA bureaucrats sometimes chose to emphasize entire documents..."

Food-backed Local Money
When your bankers and politicians are out of control, at least you can control what you produce.

Madagascar: Soldiers ignore orders to shoot protestors. Prepare to defend people.
The soldiers refused to obey orders to fire on the people and repress anti-government demonstrators. Following this, they then declared they would not obey government orders either.

Neighbors helping neighbors
Housing the homeless during economic collapse: “It’s a waste to have thousands of empty homes like this and people with no place to live.”

Police join demonstrations in Ireland
Often with "more militant slogans than those of the mainstream unions".

Canadian employees assume control of auto-parts plant
"They feel as though the law isn't working for them. They are prepared to fight that fight for all workers, union and non union."

Indonesia: Muslim women assume democratic control of factory that produced for Gap, Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, and Adidas
the company put pressure on the electricity company to cut off the power supply... However, with help from supporters they managed to get a diesel power generator... At the same time, they are in negotiations with the union of the electricity workers (Serikat Pekerja PLN) to try to get reconnected to the power grid.

Ahh. Working full-time again, bringing home the bacon. It's nice to have the money to blow a hundred dollars in weekend and not care how much I am spending.

January 8, 2009 | August 3, 2009

In the words of the Immortal, Fuck the World.

People are arrogant. Perhaps the per capita income of the world's most powerful country has blinded us all to the fact that we are still human. Or maybe the constant stream of "positive reinforcement" sent our way while our brains rot during the first 13 years of our primary education has simply brainwashed us all into believing we are something else entirely. After all there's no way my second grade teacher would have called me special if I really was just a mass of decaying organic matter, is there?

I walked around campus today. As I walked, I noticed something: EVERYONE thinks they are the shit, even the short, fat, pimply high school kids that wander about this place for no apparent reason. They walk with a strut and flash testy eyes at anyone who makes the mistake of walking in their line of travel. I'm sorry, I didn't realize God was on campus today, please excuse my ignorance.

Whatever happened to casual, unassuming strolls? Why is everyone all of a sudden walking with their backs straight, chest out, and chin high, hurrying along as if their business is infinitely more important than my own? When did politeness and humility disappear from our society entirely? Did I miss some sort of self-esteem seminar?

Authority figures like cops and security guards are all on power trips, my peers all seem to believe they've been enlightened with a deep understanding of the inner workings of the universe, and middle aged business-people that haven't lost their jobs to the recession yet parade about town in their soon-to-be-repo BMW's and Lexus's as if the 60k they make a year is actually millions. Fuck all of them.

Why don't I feel like that? Why is it that I am the only one who seems to realize that despite all of my worldly possessions, I am nothing. By some strange twist of fate, I was born in America, and because of that my future is relatively secure. I don't have to worry about going hungry, getting kidnapped and tortured, becoming homeless, or any of the other worries that plague the majority of people living in this world today. I am lucky. I have it good. This being said, I have not physically done anything to merit this life of relative luxury. I was born, I am here, and I will die. How many cars I own or the size of my trust fund is of no concern to me. The value of life is what I am concerned with. Make no mistake, I have no "holier than thou" intentions here, I'm just calling it like I see it. Honestly, you can act like an arrogant prick all you want, it won't bother me. It's just sad that our society has come to the point where confidence and cockiness are too often confused.

Dr. Thomas Harris lists four "life positions" in his book "I'm OK, You're OK". These positions are:
1) I'm Not OK, You're OK
2) I'm Not OK, You're not OK
3) I'm OK, You're not OK
4) I'm OK, You're OK

The last of these four is obviously the most desirable position, as it indicates a high regard for both self and others, whereas the 2nd position is the worst, indicating low regard for both self and others. In his book, Dr. Harris states that the position "I'm not OK, You're OK" is most common, and when the book was released in 1969 it probably was. In today's world, however, I beg to differ. Today, the most common position is either "I'm OK, You're not OK", or "I'm not OK, You're not OK". People are either arrogant and rude or just plain miserable and pathetic, hiding their own fear of rejection behind a wall of callous disregard.

Perhaps we were all abused early on in life and thus need this protective wall to keep us from getting hurt (Harris would probably agree to an extent), or maybe the society and culture of the west that we are constantly submerged in encourages being an asshole to look like a "rebel" or to fight the status quo. Maybe this is just human nature, and the real problem lies within the minds of the nice people. I'm not a sociologist, or a psychologist, or any kind of "-ologist", but I do have eyes, ears and a brain. I have the sense to see that people are slowly getting angrier, cockier, ruder and more boastful. I have enough insight to know that this cannot possibly be good for our kids and for our society in general. I know the world is a rough place that requires everyone to look after themselves first, but I also know most of the time there is nothing wrong with being nice.

People talk about greenhouse gases and global warming, oil crises and the "War on Terror" as if the world will end soon. They tell us to drive less, turn off our lights, take quicker showers and avoid littering. They tell us to make the world a better place. Little do they know that something as small as smiling to a stranger or asking the lady in the tollbooth how her day has been can preserve our world for centuries to come. Maybe we will run out of oil, and maybe the recession will destroy our capitalist economy, maybe terrorists will attack and leave the North American continent a barren wasteland. The truth is none of that really matters. As long as we have each other, our society can never fall from grace. Even if all of our 4 bedroom houses and SUV's and plasma TV's are taken away, even if we are forced to live on the streets, as long as we show even the slightest bit of respect for each other, our society can never die. Why don't you understand this?

Last night I freaked out.

My tonsils are exploding again.  They're getting large, always the right one bigger than the left one.  The lymph nodes in my neck are making my neck look like I have neck implants.  I am exhausted, and I have not done anything yet.

The last time this happened, my life dragged behind me like a shackled ball.  I lost over 10 pounds of weight.  I really don't have that much to lose, I'm closer to skinny than average weight; people curse me for my metabolism.  That happened because my tonsils were so large that they got in the way of eating.  Eating food became a chore.  Every swallow was a stabbing pain, like I was swallowing glass, or obsidian.

Today I went to Health Services on campus.  I swabbed my tonsils myself, since there is some puss forming on them (the first time this condition showed up, the strep test came back negative, even though there was a lot more puss).  Then I had two vials of blood taken for lab cultures and mono test (the mono test came back positive last time, maybe this is a recurring condition?).  It had been a while since I have giving blood, so I forgot to breathe.  I became light-headed pretty quickly.  My human body, failing on me in more ways than one.

I'm prayer that the cause will be revealed, or won't be as bad as last time.  So far, I have been gargling 3 to 4 times per day, and I am soon getting an antibiotic to counteract the strep.  I also plan to meditate every night before I sleep.

Last night, I meditated, and it was quite a spiritual experience.  The vinyasa breathing was intense, the sound was immersive, nothing like I've felt before.  After my session, I had the strong urge to open the bible which was recently given to me by my therapist.  I opened it to a random page, Psalm 77 came up, which mentions meditation.  I read it, and was finally calm.

I'm usually not religious, though it has seemed to have been growing in me recently, and it feels good.  

I don't see why I should stop here.


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