Beautiful Faces

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Its interesting how much we cater to the societal expectations of beauty. Even in rebellion. Welcome to Gravity, My Enemy. This week I wanted to talk about Valentine’s Day (Like literally every other year.)

We have this one day set aside to get gifts and romantics from people, everything turns red or pink and condom sales boost by a marginal percent in the days leading up to it.

We as a society are extremely focused on how things look, something I’ve spoken of before especially in correlation with Valentine’s Day is that we want our lives to be some sort of spectacle. My conservative adult friends tell me it is social media’s fault and my liberal younger friends tell me that people do it for themselves and to escape societal norms, which, if that were the case, wouldn’t we be relatively silent about it?

By this I mean no disrespect to the people who want to make their lives seem glamorous or more fun than they really are, unless you’re intentionally misleading others. That’s not cool.

Still, I see a lot of posts now a days of men or women who put themselves out on social media in a strange outfit or some kind of sensational imagery posted alongside them with the expressed purpose of standing out. I’m a fan of uniqueness, in many of its forms but can’t uniqueness be derived from humble and silent means instead of boisterous ones?

Wearing baggy clothing as a girl doesn’t have to mean that you are rebellious or tomboyish, it literally means you like baggy clothes and dude pockets because Valentine’s Day just passed by and you still have thirty seven condoms you didn’t use lying around in your bedroom, might as well take them and go make condom art.

(Don’t make condom art. Or do. .The choice is yours, just… consider placing condoms on public property extremely carefully. If you get caught vandalizing a stature of General Patton, well. I’m not going to be here to help assist you.)

Still, men in tight fitting clothing doesn’t have to be some grand break away from societal norms either, I like slim pants, a kid I know loves pleather. There is nothing to be gained or lost by how we dress and we as a society like to emphasize the shit out of it.

“Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”

Well, ideally, I’d like to be a full time writer but I’m not going to stroll into a 90 degree kitchen in a cardigan, robe and no pants. Get out of here with that. I’m going to be comfortable and wear what I enjoy.

This concept goes a step further I think with cosmetic enhancements. I saw someone on my Twitter TL the other day talking about wanting a boob reduction, not because she had large and cumbersome boobs but because “No one gets breast reductions + I want to show the patriarchy that I am in control of my own body.”

Call me crazy, but perhaps being in control of your own body might have less to do with the size of your boobs, and more to do with the control of your body.

This comes off as patriarchal to some, I’m sure. To those of you who are assuming I am part of the He-Man Woman Hater Club, allow me to reassure you. You can do whatever you want.

With whoever you want.

Whenever you want.

Hopefully that will have cleared up some of the smoke from the hollow gunshots I did not mean to fire into the crowd, yet somehow there are people who will still assume as such.

The point to all of this is that working so hard to fight something with actions like this, i.e. doing the opposite of the norm, quickly goes from a powerful statement to useless expense or banter in no time flat.

Have you ever used a word so much that it lost its meaning to you? I’ve laid centuries worth of vulgarities and the words themselves have lost the initial punch they had when I first heard them, these powerful statements are a lot like that.

Wearing extremely thin clothing in the winter is not a symbol of your oppression. It is a stupid decision, are you trying to get hypothermia? I don’t’ understand.

Similarly, men, those of us who steer into the skid of being “girly” by acting and overcompensating, trying to make the world believe you chop down redwoods with your hand, just be cool. It is okay to have feminine qualities and it is okay to have masculine qualities. I promise you it is not going to kill you. It will actually make you see things in a different light. Much like, for instance…

Each other.

See, we spend so much time trying to make ourselves stand out that we lose sight of the actual uniqueness within us. Clothing and physique are massive signals to others that lead to clues about our personalities. Men in suits, probably are either Mormon or have office/business jobs, men in overalls are likely mechanics. Etc. This applies to all people. I dress in flannel and tye dye exclusively. If you assume I’m either a hippy server who smokes a lot of weed or a gay hipster who will tell you why every album released in 2005 is only good for nostalgia sake, you would be half right.

(Not gay, I haven’t taken any of the electric lettuce in many months and bands that wee big in 2005 are still in HEAVY rotation on my Spotify playlist, I promise you. Fall Out Boy is A1 shit. Classics.)

Regardless, we use these symbols of ourselves to try to subvert the mainstream ideology of those around us, but all of these signal flares eventually evolve into a cluster of nonsense and no one understands what the purpose of all the showy idealism is anymore. These clothes mean this thing.

These Botox injections mean this thing.

So on and so forth, which leads us to less and less genuine interactions with one another, being less genuine means that you are less real, losing the things that make you one of a kind is a terrible fate to behold and I hope it upon none of you.

Besides, being less genuine means it’ll be harder for you to meet and befriend new people honestly, which in turn makes it especially hard for you to actually do anything with the $431 you spent on chocolates and prophylactic supplies for Valentine’s Day.

In summary, we were all created to be unique, divine in our own way, gifts given to others on this planet. Don’t squander that and force yourself to become a statement. Instead, consider the alternative…

Live in a way that makes you a statement unto yourself. You are wonderfully made. Your face, in all of its own glory was meant to be a beacon of light to others. Be a greater, better, more compassionate human being. Don’t be generic, generic things will be left behind one day.

(Except for Kroger brand cheese I am ABOUT that stuff. 15 slices for a dollar? Count me in.)

Snake in a Bank

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So, you may notice that the poem is a touch different than it has been in the past, that’s because I’ve been having some difficulties with Illustrator over the past couple days + had to improvise. Turns out I kinda like the new format too. Enjoy!

2018.1.3- Snake in a Bank.jpeg

If you dig it, tell your best friend about it. Or just like, their dog. I dunno. It’s your choice.

If you want to see more, you’re in luck! I have a big announcement coming soon regarding the GME poetry. I’ll publish it here so you can get a good look at it too. Expecta  few days of a wait, but it’ll be around.

In the meantime, rep some S+I gear and show it off. All four central blog designs are live on Teespring right now! A perfect gift for Valentines day, ya know.

Conversations With Machines

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“There are things in the twilight that trace the terraces of turmoil.”

“Did your father die, or was he artificially constructed?”

“You already knew the answer, why did you ask?”

 

Have you ever pondered things you already know the answers to? For example, things like how much time you spend a day, how long it will take you to fall asleep, when you will be off the clock at work, how long it will take to brush your teeth? How many lightbulbs are in your home, transistors in your computer?

Some of these things may be a mystery to you. I don’t know how many transistors are built into my PC, nor do I really need to in this moment.

I often come to my own headspace and question thinks I already know. Why I am continuing to write in an uphill climb some days, beating my brows out just to get words onto the page. I question some days why I get out of bed, it would be so much easier to stay, wouldn’t it?

Of course it would but that is not what we are alive for.

There will always be things we will never understand. In some cases, those things can even be our own motives and ideas. I urge you to consider the reasons you do things. The reason you think, act, move, work, all of them are instituted with great purpose. You breath carries a weight behind it more valuable than gold. So I pose the question today:

Do you know why you are here? If not, it isn’t something to fret over. I have many friends who don’t understand their purpose and don’t know what it is they were created for. All of us must find those things in our own time, with our own chosen path that we create.

It does us no good to speak to those without answers, we must instead learn from them. It is something I’ve come to find recently, even those who don’t know how to tell you the answer to your questions will, in the least, give a clue to finding it within the way they speak or act or move or work.

Have you ever watched a dancer go about their talent without a seeming care to the rest of the world? They could dance anywhere, a stage, their own living room or the crowded streets of New York City, and yet it would still draw your attention. There is beauty in the way they move their bodies. There is a certain grace in the way public speakers shape their lips. The way passionate people operate through the stormy waters of their chosen craft is always bleeding and pouring out magic from within.

Yet, here we are, wondering what we will do next. It isn’t something to be ashamed of. I often don’t know my next move, but I am regularly working on it, because I want the feeling I feel when watching a master craftsman or a mechanic, a sweet old lady knitting a scarf, or a DJ mixing tracks to be the same feeling I send to you with the way I write.

All of us have a passion within us, some rest it deep inside out of fear or anxiety or some other motive. Others have found theirs already and are building upon them, but I can tell you from experience, there is nothing to be gained from sitting in the corners of our homes with our hands folded across our chests wondering what our purpose is.

To some, your purpose may be to divine your purpose. To understand the world around you. Others may have story pent up within them, others contain art, engineering talent, mathematics, or more. None of those things will flourish when we sit alone and wonder what to do.

The quotes at the top of this post exemplify that. I chose, as an example to have a short conversation with Cleverbot online. I wanted to give a true definition to what it is like when we answer our own questions. All three of those responses made less than no sense in accordance with the conversation, yet the bot continued it. It is a lot like that inside my own head sometimes.

I like to ask myself things, I like to wonder and I love to question, but I would be nowhere if it weren’t for the plethora of other people in my life who willingly spar words with me and question my motives. I would be nowhere without the existence of you, my friends, my family, and the numerous people on this earth who seek to challenge my way of thinking. I became a writer for all of these people and through doing so I have come to understand my passion, my purpose for life, no matter how difficult things get.

If I had spent all of my time alone, in my own mind even in a public setting I would not have reached this place and I would not be working every day to move forward to a new place. This of course, is a silly notion in itself. We are forced into social interaction at almost all hours we are not pent up at home, so this week, what I’m saying, is go outside.

Stop talking to computers or video games or books or yourself. Spend some time with your friends, enjoy dinner, and enjoy life together.

Stop talking to machines.

Stop being so hard on yourself.

All things will come in time.

 

“Pacing hallways back and forth, asking yourself questions you already have the answers to. In the end, stumbling upon something found that was never lost at all.”

Thank you for stopping by! If you like it, check it out, feel free to tell your friends and share the post. It really helps me out and I’d love you for it!

For more, you can always pick up a copy of the compilations I release at the end of every year! You can find all of them on Amazon right now for $8! If you’re in the mood to pick up some new sweaters for the cold January coming, my store on Teespring has just what you need! Batches print every 3 days, so the stock will never run out.

(One more.) If you’re interested, I have been working on Youtube under the name Dyzygy, Go check it out if you’re into video games and inappropriate comments about them.

Debt Collectors

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Once, I had a close friend who told me that she didn’t owe the world anything. That she didn’t owe her father anything because she didn’t ask to be born. She didn’t owe her friends, her mother, her ex, her lovers anything. She never gave a reason to me though I asked. All she said was that she was so caught up believing that she had some debt to repay that it was giving her anxiety, so she thought long and hard and came to that realization.

I tried to understand but I just couldn’t seem to agree. I thought of her perspective, a teenager who had been enduring things beyond her on the best days. One day her opinion may change, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently.

I’ve come head to head with many people who hold this same belief. They owe no explanation, no trust, no love or faith to anyone living. Their lives are their own and they are in complete control of them, they tell me.

Yet they come to me and other friends regularly telling of ways that they can’t seem to get a handle on the world they are living in. That it is all so complicated and so hard to understand. That so many things are always happening that it seems like they can’t keep their heads above water. That they lose purpose.

Another friend once asked me how I can get out of bed every day and go about my life. I lived at home for a long time, I worked a “dead end” job and my books weren’t selling. My YouTube channel was full with a cool 8 subscribers and my Twitter feed was a ghost town of advertisements and cries for book sales.

Why do I get out of bed every morning, you ask?

Because I have a debt to repay.

My mother and father didn’t consult me when it came to bringing me into this world. They didn’t prepare me for broken A/C units or credit card debt. They didn’t explain at first that life would swing a lot harder than any bully I had met in high school. They didn’t ask me if I wanted to be here, yet here I am.

I owe my parents everything.

In a universe that knows not who I am, a cosmic mosh pit that doesn’t know me from Adam, how can I get up every day knowing life is meaningless?

Because it isn’t.

Like many things in my life, I have held the philosophy that everything comes down to me. I create the world I am living in. If I hate the people I work with, it will be hell going to work every day. If I disrespect my parents, I won’t have a safety net when I need it. If I crush the dreams of my friends in the pursuit of mine, I will live in a golden castle atop a lonely country hillside.

What I’m saying is that we shouldn’t put this blameless mentality into our heads. This idea that we don’t owe the world anything makes our hearts hard. Don’t you think we have hardened our hearts enough? With the dichotomy in politics and the strained ideals of the everyday person that lives today, don’t you think it would be best if we were to take a slow breath and think to ourselves…

“What can I do to make this world better, safer, nicer, happier?”

Get away from the concept that everything is a debt to be repaid. It isn’t. On one hand you can say that you don’t owe anyone anything, on the other I’d say you owe your loved ones in the least, everything you have.

Each word I write, even the vulgarity, I owe to my mother for raising me to be talented.

Every nut and bolt I adjust in the engine of my truck I owe to my father for teaching me how to repair things.

Every burst of creativity is owed to my parents and my friends for being the fire beneath my feet that keeps me moving forward.

So, to answer the question, I get out of bed every morning because I have a tremendous debt to repay.

Each breath I take should be a labor of love and gratitude that even though I didn’t ask to be at this party, I was still invited and welcomed. I have found a nest with many people who love and appreciate me and I have found a purpose. I have created this nest for myself through my own hard work and my own dedication, but more than that I have created is because one day I know that someone will need my help. My wife, my child, my friends, it could be anyone, anywhere, for anything.

I don’t owe that person a damned thing, but I will give them whatever I can to help them along their way. They will owe me nothing in return, not because I don’t want debts repaid or favors returned, but because my life is going to be too short to try to keep a tally of all the things I’ve done or will do in it.

You may think that you owe no one anything, but you should do well to remember that no one owes you a thing either.

Not the parents who gave you clothing and shelter and food.

Not the teachers who tried their damnedest to educate you.

Not the employers who provide you with paychecks so you can feed your own family.

Not the countless people you cross day to day who don’t pillage your home or vehicle so that they can get ahead.

Life is not about accruing and paying off debt.

It is about doing things for one another, in kindness, without being asked and without expecting things in return, as so many people have done for you and I, we should do for the rest of them.

I hope that you forgive a debt today. I certainly know that I am.

After all, no one owes me anything.

www.linmtba.com

Consecrating the Beast

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On any rainy night in any town in this world, you can see them. If you look carefully. Fine hairs cover their bodies, their pale flesh shines off of the moonlight. Their hair disheveled and their hands occupied with lit flames or poison in glass bottles while they wait. They are the most advanced hunters our earth has ever seen. Waiting for the prey to stumble into their nests. Behind dimly lit bars, or even within. They rest in the halls of churches, in the seats of Congress, they work in restaurants and mines. They bleed and breed more of the same with each new generation, a new pack is born that can hunt and kill with ease. The most painful thing about them is that when they kill you, you continue to live. They shrivel up your soul and drink the life out of it like a paper carton of coconut water. These particular creatures are what made me pick up my blade and fight. They spurned me, beat me, and have tried to sink their fangs into my soul for years.

I’ve come face to face with them, I have lived to tell you the tale…

 

I’m talking about people, if that wasn’t obvious.

Working in the service industry has taught me a ton about the nature of people. Especially from being a bartender, I see the best and the worst of people on a day to day basis and dealing with that can grow tiresome. It’s so easy to slip into manufactured ideas that we have at the ready. Misconceptions about the people we see but don’t truly know can rip at us for years. Especially when we see the bad side of people often. A guy was on a date with a girl, and after the date was over he left his server his number and asked her to call him. I’ve seen drunk men need to be lifted out of the restaurant because they couldn’t walk on their own. I’ve seen fights and I’ve watched relationships crumble because of infidelity. People cheating on their spouses in my restaurant and their partners finding about what was happening on the sidelines. It’s so hard to deal with sometimes. One memory that sticks out vividly that I have written about before, a family came in one night and were assholes to everyone, the dad was drunk beyond belief and regularly told his daughter that she was ugly. I was frustrated by it and at the end of the meal I asked if they wanted dessert. Daddio said they would go somewhere else, but the girl wanted cake. While I was standing there holding the bill the dad looked at his daughter and through death breath told her “You don’t need cake, you’re already fat and ugly, and cake will just make you fatter and uglier.”

The girl was maybe six years old. How can someone do that? I couldn’t comprehend it then. I can’t comprehend it now. In my frustration, I bought her a piece of cake and gave it to her after her dad had stumbled out the door. His wife came in a while later and apologized for him, and thanked me for giving her daughter the dessert she wanted. I was so pissed when it happened and it has stuck in my mind since then.

It’s hard for me to tolerate assholes. I just don’t get why we would be like that for no reason. I dwell on it and let it gnaw at me and those kinds of people are the ones that kill your soul.

So what do we do to that kind of person? The evil kind?

We fight back with love.

Everybody will run into someone selfish and needless, we will all encounter our own version of the cake hoarding asshole in a new skin. It isn’t that they are inherently evil, that’s definitely exaggeration to drive the point home. They shouldn’t be held against a wall and fired upon as being evil. They make mistakes and are foolish, we all are.

So what can we do?

Consecrate them.

Consecration, by definition is declaring something (usually a church) sacred.

So then, we can consecrate our own lives and mentalities. The way I believe in love is sacred to me. It is something that should never be destroyed. Of course I fail, I grow weary and I snap at people. We all make mistakes, in those instances it might seem like the right thing to do but I still backstab my own beliefs. Instead of fighting the beast with the best I can offer, instead I stoop to their level and battle with brute force. I try to prove to them that I’m the bigger asshole.

That’s not the kind of man I want to be.

Recently, I had the chance to speak one on one with a customer I once thought was a huge dick. He told me about his grandkids and his late wife, he told me that he goes out so often because he doesn’t like to be alone. He told me lots of things, but it was what he didn’t say that really hit home.

Through all of his stories he told me that he was lonely and he was bitter. Perhaps angry at God, perhaps angry at man and science. I can’t say, but I looked at him with a new light afterwards.

Sure, he was angry and there wasn’t a reason to be an old grump, but that was what he had engrained within himself. I can’t let that happen to me.

This life will not make us bitter, the monsters we see day to day will not make us lose our faith, especially our faith in one another.

We will consecrate the beasts with love. After all, every villain, every evil thing in this world once started from something good, something that wasn’t evil. We had to learn hate, so it is our job to teach how to destroy it.

This was supposed to be up last week and then again was supposed to be up at the beginning of this week but I got caught up planning some cool stuff for my birthday so I lost the work in the process. Anyway, it’s here now! I’ve got another one coming for you in a couple hours too. 🙂

www.linmtba.com