A new life, for an old man.

Month: June, 2013

The Caveman

The sun is rising for me. Dawn is come, and I got a whole day of work to do.

I quit reddit today. I really like reddit too, I mean, seriously, I really like it. I love the whole explain it like I am 5, I love the AMA’s, I love the science thread, and summoners school, but to be honest, I am getting tired of League of Legends too. Stupidity is a contagious disease I think, or at least, I am susceptible to it. I am a 44-year-old punker without much to offer the world at this point, but I have stayed true to my ideals for 30 years now, and I will continue to do so. I never really thought I would get to the point of being tired of the BS that I am, but I am definitely tired of it.

The BS of which I speak? Oh where oh where, oh where do I start? How about the constant battle of the sexes? I know there are differences between men and women, but… that really has not mattered since the invention of the train and the automobile. Maybe, and I do mean maybe, there was just enough physical strength difference in the world of horses that being a man meant you could get around good, or that you could “manhandle” a machine that was not very well-balanced in its design, but those days are at least, and I do mean at least, 100 years ago. Three full generations ago, not just yesterday.

Watching Julia Gillard lose her position in the Labor party here in Oz, after a three-year battle of the sexes, I am disturbed and feel the loss. I go on to reddit to lose my self maybe in reading on how to carry with Annie again, or perhaps some funny pics or aww pics to make my day, I come across a black kid in a water bucket holding watermelon, taken in a refugee camp. I am not necessarily hugely anti-predjudiced, but this was a line that did not really need to be crossed. Number two on the front page, and only growing. I know things come and go, I know the reddit community is a lot of different people, but when I read the comments, mostly it is people talking like we were on old 4chan, with all its over trolling to the max kind of mentality.  I am not a fan of 4chan, but I am an old internet user, going back to IRC days and before, with my earliest gleanings in the BBS era. I know what these communities are, I know what they do, and I know where most of them are going.

So I quit. I have no interest in pursuing anything like that, and I certainly do not want to be part of a community as a whole that supports it. I do not mind if you do find it funny, I do not. I am moving my bags out of that particular hotel, never to return. I want a life that is better than hanging on to old school white racism. I want to move forward, not backwards, and I certainly am not going to cling to the pier as the tide goes in and out.

I recently beat a huge bout of depression. I did it without doctors or psychiatrists, I did it alone, poor, and it damned near killed me. I find that maintaining a positive face in the 10 years that I wasted is a difficult problem, but one I take on willingly. One of the things I am not going to do anymore is compromise my personal self for anyone else’s personal self. I have a beautiful woman who loves me, and I am in a place of power that I have never had before. I go to sleep early, and I wake up early, and I feel ready to take on the world. Part of taking on the world is that you must focus what you want to do, and I find that reddit no longer gives me any focus for myself, but instead is a lot of disconnected folks in a world of disconnection.

I think this is just like a lot of the people who have been taking themselves off of facebook recently. FB is fine, in very small doses, as a communication platform for friends and family, but that is where the fun ends. Soon this will end, all of this pointless banter. I do not know how soon, but soon. Humans are social creatures by nature, and that means we support the ones we love, not destroy them. The hard part right now is, people do not know how to love themselves, and the results are disastrous. We are growing and evolving, and it is a painful and hard process, not one done overnight. We have to slowly but surely educate all those poor bastards who think it is OK to be backwards first.

Tom Robbins once spoke in one of his books (read them all, not one is a waste of time!) of how the world could be seen as a mammal at birth time, straining, pushing, red-faced and desperate. We can all see it, it is an easy thing to do, thanks to media, and I want to help push that idea out. I want to help us evolve, and I am going to use this blog to do it with.

Originally this was an exercise in writing. I needed a direction for it once that exercise was over, and now I have it. I will be focused on the positive discoveries we have made as humans. I will focus on those things that can give everyone a smile, and a bring some good cheer. We have made so many discoveries, and I want to try to help show them. The Caveman is retiring, and the New Human is coming forth.


Step One: Admit You Have a Problem

I must admit, ever since high school, I hate 12 step programs. I was sent to one because I went to school drunk. I still, at 44, do not think I had a problem then, not the one they sent me in for. I was sent to PDAP (Palmer Drug Abuse Program) because the school could not understand I got drunk at school for kicks, and in rebellion of the rat maze teaching system america calls schooling. I went on the first day of my senior year, because it did not matter, because it was unimportant, in the whole scheme of my life. I was going to a 9th grade beginners english class, and that was followed by a 12th grade gifted and talented english class. I was unimportant to my parents, the school, and to be totally honest, the entire system of america. I went drunk because it was fun, and it would let me fly my flag for the first few minutes I did not get caught. I had a very successful day. I threw up on the new tight ass vice-principal. I was outed by a friend who would later betray me again. I was picked up from school after passing out, where upon I slept for the rest of the day. I enjoyed that day, I enjoyed it to the fullest. My punishment was a suspended suspension to hang over my head, and 8 weeks in PDAP.

Based directly on AA, PDAP is a 12 step program for “young adults.” I am always directly suspicious of anything using the term young adults, and extremely suspicious of anything held in an old church. PDAP did both, and continues to this day. I don’t really care so much now, hey, if you need help, get it anyway you can, but back then, when I was into punk? I am still a punker, still thinking of how capitalism ruins us, still suspicious of governments and authority. I would not speak out against it now, but knowing what I knew and thinking how I thought, ugh, an AA program run by christians. Oh this should be MUCH better than high school.

Much to my surprise it was. The PDAP councilor was lesbian and atheist, well-trained, and she saw what I said was true. I was not an alcoholic and had never been one. She actually was extremely helpful to me, helping me understand to keep my rebellion low, stay under the radar, get past high school, then go live my own life. My grandfather was the only other person who had ever said such to me, and in a lot of ways, that councilor reaffirmed my beliefs in myself, my grandfather, and my choices in life. Well I was completely baffled and impressed, and from that day on my battles against the straight edge community and the “experimenters” was over. I still thought most of the people in the room outside of my and her conversation were nuts, and probably needed more than a 12 step program to help them, but she gave me good advice and I learned to keep my mouth shut.  Sort of…

Fast forward to now, and how that all didn’t help me gain anything. I discovered I am a compulsive eater from a sad but apparently needed exchange between my fiance and I last week. I instantly went to the 12 steps of healing as a guide, and damn, what an idiot I am. I don’t need confrontation if I have discovered it myself. I don’t need affirmation if I am doing the changes I need to do. I am not really in the room with the other compulsive eaters, except for the fact that I am one. I need to continue what I have been doing all along, and stop paying lip service to old american traditions. I do not need to yak on endlessly about my “problems.” I simply need to get on with it.

We americans have a lot of mental memes pushed on us time and time again. We are not very clear when it comes to what we understand about ourselves, and it is painfully obvious to me at times here in Australia. I tend to harp on and on about shit that doesn’t matter, and it is mostly because in america, most people had no education, and did not understand half of what I say, while here, most people are educated, and it is reflected back at me to keep my uneducated mouth shut. I have way to many opinions on way to may things that just do not matter. I do not need to fight to have my opinions known here, as a matter of fact, most people here share similar ideals and opinions. People here do care about their neighborhood, and they do say nice things about each other.  Being a backwoods idiot is frowned upon, not celebrated, and life is decent if you want to work for it.

I see other things to, being an american in Australia, but the negative here is just not as reinforced as it was in the states. I see the power grabs for the government, I see the business world shitting on it’s own workers, but it is just not as bad here as it was where I am from. I am far to negative I think, a lot of the time, and it really is just me looking up from a prone position that I am used to. I am sort of hobbling all over the place here, because there is so much more for me to say, so I will just get on with it.

I’m fat. I’m fat because I ate too much in the past, and now I am middle aged, so it is hard for me to lose the weight and get back in shape. I do not have a problem, I have a solution. I am done with the “I am so hurt” rhetoric, because I am much better than that.

It really is that easy.