Friday, December 29, 2006

My New Year's Resolution


People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,


If you do good, people will accuse you of
selfish, ulterior motives,


If you are successful,
you win false friends and true enemies,


The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,

What you spent years building may be
destroyed overnight,

People really need help
but may attack you if you help them,

Give the world the best you have
And you’ll get kicked in the teeth,

-Attributed to Mother Teresa.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Western Civilization, from the rise of the Roman Catholic church onward, has been defined by set of ascending hierarchies.

We are taught that all must start at the top, then work their way up. Rung by rung, we ascend to our highest level of competence, or incompetence, depending on the circumstances.

We here in America pride ourselves on having worked our way to the top. We pat ourselves on the back for living in a country where social mobility is fact, rather than fiction. We start to spin personal mythologies of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.

The problem is that once we've started making $100,000 a year or more, there's a natural tendency in human nature for us to forget that we too, once were at the bottom of the totem pole.

The Japanese do it a tad differently. In a corporate environment, they place their highest esteem and regard upon those at the bottom of the pyramid. However, Japanese society is quite conformist. Individuality is tolerated within reason, but the idea of the collective mindset is valued far above any sort of individual liberty.

There's a fine line between fear and trust in people. Many small businesses start based on ideas of trust. The employees know and trust each other. Those in charge of setting up this great-leap-forward---this grassroots endeavor---see the problems caused by corporate heirarchies. They seek to avoid them whenever possible. They don't treat their employees as though they are prisoners. They do not run their management like the Gestapo.

Then a larger company extends a check forward. They've discovered that the good idea advanced by this small company could help them, the large corporation, make even more money.

So the eternal quandry presents itself, thusly: Sell out and perpetuate unequality? Sell out and live a life of wealth? Spread fear, rather than trust? Sell out and ensure that an unfair system continues forward?

Or: Stay poor, pure, and happy?

Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Taking a bit of a break...

Let me take a bit of a break from saving the world to talk about something more personal.


Whether romantic or platonic, they take time. There will be occasional tension. Human beings are wired to never be completely content. We are hard wired, genetically, to be adaptable to an unfamiliar, sometimes hostile environment. True peace of mind is a pipe dream. A genetic impossibility.

Unitarians don't want to be saved! They want closure!

-Garrison Keiler

And that's true. We don't want to be saved. We want to KNOW!

And sometimes, we can't know everything. We are often paradoxical beings.

I seek less and less to understand and more and more to just be okay with contradiction. Not everything can be explained. There will always be unknowns.

I'm learning to be okay with that.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Change is Possible!

Even bah-humbugs can get a dose of the spirit every now and then.

Enclosed is the main theme of a favorite Unitarian of mine, Charles Dickens.

Yes! and the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!

I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my knees!”

He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions, that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit, and his face was wet with tears.

“They are not torn down,” cried Scrooge, folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms, “they are not torn down, rings and all. They are here—I am here—the shadows of the things that would have been, may be dispelled. They will be. I know they will!”

His hands were busy with his garments all this time; turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, making them parties to every kind of extravagance.

“I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”

Friday, December 22, 2006

A few choice passages this Christmas

1. "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (NASB ©1995)

-Jesus of Nazareth. AD 33.

2. When your head gets twisted and your mind grows numb
When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When you're laggin' behind an' losin' your pace
In the slow-motion crawl or life's busy race
No matter whatcha doin' if you start givin' up
If the wine don't come to the top of your cup
If the wind got you sideways with one hand holdin' on

And the other starts slippin' and the feelin' is gone
And your train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood's easy findin' but you're lazy to fetch it
And your sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long

And you start walkin' backwards though you know that it's wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away
And you feel the reins from your pony are slippin'

And your rope is a-slidin' 'cause your hands are a-drippin'
And your sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And your sky cries water and your drain pipe's a-pourin'
And the lightnin's a-flashin' and the thunder's a-crashin'
The windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops are shakin'

And your whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'
And your minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
An' to yourself you sometimes say"I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn't they tell me the day I was born?"

And you start gettin' chills and you're jumpin' from sweat
And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet
And you're knee-deep in dark water with your hands in the air
And the whole world's watchin' with a window peek stare
And your good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flyin'

And your heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'
And your jackhammer falls from your hands to your feet
But you need it badly an' it lays on the street
And your bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat

And you think your ears mighta been hurt
Your eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterday's rush
When you were faked out an' fooled while facin' a four flush
And all the time you were holdin' three queens

It's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncin' around a pinball machine
And there's something on your mind that you wanna be sayin'
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'

But it's trapped on your tongue, sealed in your head
And it bothers you badly when you're layin' in bed
And no matter how you try you just can't say it
And you're scared to your soul you just might forget it

And your eyes get swimmy from the tears in your head
An' your pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion's mouth opens and you're starin' at his teeth

And his jaws start closin' with you underneath
And you're flat on your belly with your hands tied behind
And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign

You say to yourself Just what am I doing?

On this road I'm walkin',
on this trail I'm turnin'
On this curve I'm hangin'
On this pathway I'm strollin',
this space I'm taking
And this air I'm inhaling?

Am I mixed up too much,
am I mixed up too hard
Why am I walking?
where am I running? What am I saying?
what am I knowing?
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailing
On this mandolin I'm strumming, in the song I'm singing,
In the tune I'm humming, in the words that I'm thinking

In the words I'm writing
In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinking

Who am I helping?
What am I breaking?
What am I giving?
What am I taking?

But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make your heart pound
But then again you know when they're around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down

'Cause sometimes you hear 'em when the night time come creeping
And you fear they might catch you sleeping
And you jump from your bed, from the last chapter of dreamin'
And you can't remember for the best of your thinkin'
If that was you in the dream that was screaming

And you know that's somethin' special you're needin'
And you know there's no drug that'll do for the healing
And no liquor in the land to stop your brain from bleeding

You need somethin' special
You need somethin' special, all right
You need a fast flyin' train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back

You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows your troubles a hundred times over

You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
That won't laugh at your looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rolling long after the bubblegum craze

You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes

You need something to make it known
That it's you and no one else that owns
That spot that you're standing, that space that you're sitting

That the world ain't got you beat
That it ain't got you licked
It can't get you crazy
no matter how many times you might get kicked

-Bob Dylan, 1963

3. I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are.

I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition. - Eugene Debs, 1910

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Art and Chaos Day

I wanted to dedicate this poem to my wonderful girlfriend.

Mother to Son
by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—Bare.

But all the time I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.

So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.

Don't you fall now—For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',

And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Everyone wants to jump to conclusions these days.

Lock 'em up and throw away the key!

Makes you feel good when you say it. But look closer.

If you circle the wagons, it might make you feel secure for a little while. But stand aside and realize the only person you'll be locking in is yourself. If you treat people like prisoners, they will act like prisoners.

Case in point: my girlfriend arrived late last night. I went next door to call her on her cell phone.

I talked to her next-door-neighbor. Yes, I am aware I was asking to use his home phone to call her. Yes, I am aware he didn't know me from Adam.

I was met at the door by a man who acted as though I wanted to steal something from him or beat him up.

I am a twenty-six-year-old white male. I look about 18. I'm hardly the ideal candidate for an armed robbery. I resent being automatically treated as though I am a threat.

This is what I hate about my current job. I am treated as though I am a twelve-year-old in reform school. Instead of punishing the few offenders who bring the rest of us down, we are all punished the same.

How do you foster employee loyalty if you automatically assume they are up to no good? It doesn't foster loyalty. It pisses off employees and makes them desperate to leave. It makes a person work just hard enough to not get fired.

No more, no less.

Hope and Christmas-time

This holiday season, let us keep this at heart.

You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope's just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve

But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
And yer trouble is you know it too good
'Cause you look an' you start getting the chills

'Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
And it ain't on Macy's window sill
And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ

And it ain't on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it's funny
No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you're bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain't a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
No, and it ain't in the rumors people're tellin' you

And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are sellin' you
And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star's blouse
And you can't find it on the golf course

And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus
And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knockin' and tappin' in Christmas wrappin'

Sayin' ain't I pretty and ain't I cute and look at my skin Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry

When you can't even sense if they got any insides--These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows

No you'll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache´
And inside it the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses

And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who'd turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back, my friend

The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant

And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
And think they're foolin' you

The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks

And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
Sayin', "Christ do I gotta be like that?

Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at?
Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel?"

Good God Almighty

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Global Warming

Here in Atlanta, the high, yesterday, was 75 degrees. I need not remind you that yesterday was DECEMBER 18th!

Record warmth in December. And there's NO SUCH THING AS GLOBAL WARMING, right?

Agh. I really have to stop obsessing about things like this. I do what I can. I drive a (relatively) fuel efficient car. I recycle. I don't waste natural resources. I make sure I am as earth-friendly as possible.

I HATE hot weather. Hate, hate, hate. I joke that I was born part-polar bear. It can hardly ever be too cold for me. This is much to the chagrin of my girlfriend, for whom 50 degrees is an intolerable condition.

My anxiety attack centers around my fear that Atlanta, circa 2040, will resembles Miami, just with less Cubans and worse drivers.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ebony and Ivory?

Despite being a cheesy song, "Ebony and Ivory" is factually incorrect.

Black notes and white notes on a piano keyboard are not in perfect harmony. They are, rather, discordant. Play a random black note and a random white note on a piano and see what I mean. The sound produced will not necessarily be pretty.

However, in combination with each other, black keys and white keys can make beautiful melodies.

I suppose that's the irony (among many others) of this country.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The REAL War on Christmas

13Not long before the Jewish festival of Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14There he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves in the temple. He also saw moneychangers sitting at their tables.

So he took some rope and made a whip. Then he chased everyone out of the temple, together with their sheep and cattle. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins.

16Jesus said to the people who had been selling doves, "Get those doves out of here!

Don't make my Father's house a marketplace."

17The disciples then remembered that the Scriptures say, "My love for your house burns in me like a fire."

18The Jewish leaders asked Jesus, "What miracle [a] will you work to show us why you have done this?" 19"Destroy this temple," Jesus answered, "and in three days I will build it again!"

20The leaders replied, "It took forty-six years to build this temple. What makes you think you can rebuild it in three days?"

23In Jerusalem during Passover many people put their faith in Jesus, because they saw him work miracles. [b]

But Jesus knew what was in their hearts, and he would not let them have power over him.

No one had to tell him what people were like. He already knew.

-Gospel of John.

What's Going Wrong

Colin Zeal knows
the value of mass appeal

He's a pedestrian walker
He's a civil talker

He's an affable man
with a plausible plan
keeps his eye on the news
keeps his future in hand

(and then he..)

Looks at his watch
he's on time yet again

Looks at his watch
he's on time yet again

He's pleased with himself
he's pleased with himself
He's so pleased with himself, ah ha

While sitting in traffic
Colin thinks in automatic

He's an immaculate dresser
He's your common aggressor

He's a modern retard
with a love of bombast

Keeps his eye on the news
doesn't dwell on the past

(and then he..)

Looks at his watch,
he's on time yet again

Looks at his watch,
he's on time yet again

He's pleased with himself,
he's pleased with himself

He's so pleased with himself, ah ha
He's pleased with himself,

He's pleased with himself
He's so pleased with himself, ah ha

(and then he..)

He's a modern retard
He's terminal lard

He's an affable man
with a carrotene tan

Because Colin Zeal's ill.

-Damon Albarn, 1993.

Blogging versus Life

Dear Readership:

I am aware I haven't blogged as frequently as I have previously. Please forgive.

New relationships take up much time. Plus, I seem to be on this new diet called The Sex Diet. Too busy having sex to take time to eat or blog.

I have a cold today, which means that I have called in sick to work. What little voice I have left sounds like Louis Armstrong. I must admit, however, that I am not terribly upset to not have to go into work.

My mantra during this time of year is: at least I don't work retail.

People call in close to the holidays with the strangest requests.

The frenzy of buy, buy, buy coupled with guilt and frustration make for an unpleasant combination. Businesses may make money hand over fist during this time of year, but they also lose lots of customer base. It tests the patience of saints to deal with this time of year properly.

Everyone, employee or customer alike is on a short fuse. The pressure placed on everyone washes over to all aspects of their lives.

I am in a bad mood and have too much to do so I

  • Don't take the time to focus on driving in traffic-- so I cause an accident
  • Cause someone else to have to put off shopping for Christmas presents
  • Lose my patience with the people I work with
  • Rush around manically, trying to get everything done--putting too much on my already full plate
  • Forget that this season is really supposed to be about being good to my fellow brother/sister
  • Increase feelings of tension, resentment, and cast lots of negative energy into the world
May we not forget about peace on earth, goodwill towards fellow person, et al...PLEASE.

P.S. I recommend doing your Christmas shopping online. It totally saves time and prevents you from having to be around rude people.

Monday, December 11, 2006


The latest Congressional election shows us what happens when the Reagan Democrats, like my father, for example, return home and vote Blue.

No matter how far we extend the big tent, we're bound to leave people out. Third-party leaning people have long felt disenfranchised and disaffected within the confines of the two party system.

I think part of the problem is that the founding fathers, in a spirit of ostentatious over-optimism, scorned parties altogether. However, no sooner than you could say CONSTITUTION, we had two of them.

I support a multi-party system along the same lines the British House of Commons.

I think the Reagan Democrats, Libertarian, Greens, and almost-socialists like yours truly would feel more at home. Plus, it would force people to build much broader coalitions to pass legislation.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

Dear Readership:

So long as there are human beings, there will always be problems.

Part of human nature is seeking to reform.

However, perceiving the problems of the world as one set of pitched skirmishes yet to be fought can be a tad overwhelming after a time. And all of you introverts out there know how overwhelming it is to be overstimulated by the world around you.

So instead, I denote today ART AND CHAOS DAY! (I stole the name from Blue Gal, yes).

This is an original work of my good friend Camilla Taylor who is a brilliant artist.

Visit her shop. Buy stuff!


-Jason copywrite 2005, Camilla Taylor.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Proper Exit Strategy

These words may sound a little familiar.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

-Abraham Lincoln, 1865.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Addendum to Last Post

My liberuul friends, lest you feel compelled to channel your inner African...there is more to this story.

The African-American community has its own set of problems.

There is no real perfection.

Each community has its own problems.

Unlike the white community, the Black community can be a very homophobic place.

At my current workplace, I recognize how many males are living lies. I recognize how many males are in relationships with women. They have children.

But they are not heterosexual, and deep down inside, they know it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Understanding, not toleration

My current workplace environment is 90% minority.

I am one of four white males.

I'll be honest with you. When I started working here, I had the same thought that many other white people have in similar situations.

I bet they hate Whitey. I bet they resent me being there. I bet they will be militant and angry and and and...


It wasn't that way at all. I stand corrected.

In all honesty, I like black people much better than I like lots of white people. White people are so uptight. We are type A to the max. Black people let it all hang out and don't worry about it. Instead of obsessing about this or that, they live in the moment. Instead of being anal-retentive and micromanaging the future, they are content to live in the present.

I had a friend of color as we say in white liberal circles who asked me point-blank once: Kevin, why do white people kill themselves?

Damned good question.

The problem is that we have built all of these walls around ourselves. Black people weren't angry at me. Black people didn't automatically assume much of anything about me, except for the fact that I wouldn't understand them because I was not black myself.

We speak different languages. They have their language, and we ours. If we really wanted to change things for the better we would learn to be bilingual. And then language would cease to exist. It just wouldn't matter anymore.

Ignorance stems from a lack of understanding. Ignorance stands from prejudice.

Prejudice. Pre-judge.

I am pre-judging you before I know you.

I'll tell you another story.

I was talking to a woman on the phone from a prominent southern state.

The call was going so well until the very end. She said,

You sound like a nice guy. I'm so glad you're not a Mexican.

I mean, don't get me wrong. They work hard. But they come over here and drive up our taxes and and and...

Naturally, being that I must be friendly and courteous with all customers I was not allowed to tell this woman what I really thought about her.

But I understand where she's coming from. She's afraid of change. People fear change, particularly as they get older. Change means adjustment. Change is uncomfortable.

But without change, we will make no progress.

Without understanding, we will have only tolerance.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I am a bad, bad, blogger

Dear Readership:

I am so sorry I have not blogged in several days.

I've been too fucking busy, and vice versa.


Friday, December 01, 2006

History Repeats Itself

Dear readers,

I apologize for not blogging yesterday. I had an AMAZING day yesterday, which I will blog about in some detail later. No time right now, though. I've got to clock in to go to work in twenty minutes.

My father sometimes redeems himself. He was at first a supporter of this quagmire we have in Iraq, but around six months ago he said to me: This is such a mistake. This is going to turn out like Vietnam.

I said, Didn't they remember the lessons of Vietnam?

He said, Remember what I've always told you.

Everything hinges on

1. Money
2. Greed
3. Sex
4. Power

These four things drive human nature and drive humans to acts of madness.

I've never forgotten.

May we never have another Iraq/Vietnam quagmire.