Famous People

February 6, 2017
famous-guy

This is a famous guy you see all over shit. His name is Ryan, and I could care less, I only want him for his role in The Place Beyond the Pines.

I used to be one of those kids that worshiped famous people and dreamed about being one. There I was, watching rewards shows in awe, fantasizing about being on that stage; hanging out; rubbin’ elbows. It was ridiculous. I was like the white, suburb kid version of Precious.

That chimera has expired.

Now, I wouldn’t mind meeting famous people, but I wouldn’t mind meeting anyone – not really a big deal one way or the other. It’s because famous people are just regular people. There’s literally no difference, except more of us know who the famous ones are. They have money and adoration, but when it boils down that shit just isn’t substantial enough.

They still have physical boundaries, emotional relationships where they don’t always have all the leverage. A famous guy should wash their hands when they take a dump, and so should a regular dude. Ladies love shoes: Famous, check. Regular, check. I could go on, and on, but it’s not only non-profound, everyone already get’s this.

We all know famous people are famous. Pfft. But, do we really appreciate it? A quick look at the internet would tell me, “Not really.” Why do we lionize these people if they’re just like our boring assess?

This is a good question, but this isn’t about anyone else, it’s about me…

Today, I can’t watch a TV show without wondering what that actor is experiencing, for real, in that moment. Is there underwear riding up? Did they just get some bad news in between takes? Maybe they ate a burrito that fucked they’re shit up! Could someone on the set absolutely hate this actual, regular, vulnerable, insecure person. This so called famous person?

Sure I hold some in regard for their talents, however, there are people I’ve known that I can totally give them props for their talents/skill/fortitude, and that person is still a giant douche. And that’s okay. I just don’t want to have dinner with him any more than I do with someone I’ve never even met based on an illusion of who that person is.

It sounds cynical, but it’s not like I’m bummed out about it. I focus on who I’m with, people I can meet serendipitously just going out and being the regular person I am. I love my loved ones, prizing humility over honor.

Then I start to wonder how that would make them feel. To be ruled out simply because they are to well known. That is sort of fucked up. And why don’t I use the word celebrity more often. Probably because I have to spell it 5 times before I get it right…

Oh, well. I just think way to much.

 

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Synthetic Sentiment 2.1

February 3, 2017

cant-get-along

Anxiety is something I deal with on a daily basis. Okay, I’ll be honest, it’s more like I avoid it on a daily basis. I mention this because we now live in a time of accessible yet often confusing communication. Anxiety is one of those things that those who suffer have a hard time convincing those who don’t know exactly what it is, yet access to attempt communicating it is infinite.

Communication is instantaneous today, obviously, yet flawed in its impressionability; lacking in the whole of its sum parts; inelegant; deprived. But, plugged-in every nanosecond of the day, we can instantly be affected by media, opinion, and facts that fall directly in line with our own belief systems, or what we believe those are. And that’s a problem.

Let me explain…

Many entities in our world like seek out our behavior in everyday life. They entice our buying behavior, sleep patterns, and driving routes. They graph and chart our analytics and deliver us exactly what we want, when and how we want it. Every day. So, we don’t have to explore outward to terribly much. When we think that we are, we don’t even realize it was fed to us. We just follow whatever they dangle just within reach.

There is no mystery, and we don’t dig deep enough to get past those planted desires and desperations. When we consume important information we no longer examine it, we offer little perspective in processing that material. The worst of all, our brains have been programmed to believe this binary perversion is a matter of our existence. Our survival mechanisms kick in at the drop of a hashtag.

I’m not saying anyone is stupid. It isn’t something must of us are even realizing as time and responsibilities transpire, each of us believes we are doing “our” thing, maintaining our own lives. We have lost our ability to zoom out and look at things with a wider lens, and even the things we do to “help” are really just us doing something for ourselves.

This doesn’t mean every effort is futile, it’s just become very hard to discern what is a cause and what is marketing. Maybe they have merged together, but we hardly have the time let alone the tools to dismantle it all. There is so much information it’s like the whole of civilization is committing a giant file dump just to keep us stuck in contention. We are at odds with mass-produced, synthetic sentiment.

Even if it isn’t by design, it’s really quite sinister. But, what if we began realizing it? Our communication has always been evolving, after all, systems fail over time. These systems are then replaced. What if we began choosing that change on our own? We could change the narrative and start writing our own which opens up depth locked within us and expands our perceptions of the world outside.

To be continued…

Umbra

February 3, 2017

concentric-cirles

Light scattered across the room, bouncing off bits and pieces of broken glass. The light rippled over the explosion of silent shards as it’s beam searched out something in the darkness. A circle inside a circle crawling slowly across the ransacked room. It undulated over the peaks and valleys of furniture and strewn decorative elements.

Trekking, it happened upon a wall enlivening framed photos left askew, dangling still. It moved upward finding a multitude of linear umbra darting across the crown molding, rising and turning as the radiance swept by. The shadows, folding into thin lines, suddenly began to widen and consume the embellishment whole.

The aureole moved onward clambering playfully upon mutilated houseplants and an untidy record collection. Black shiny splotches here and there reflected back a hello to the gushing beam, “Here I am.” It said. “Look at me,” flashy and obtruding – yet the light moved on confidently to a row of metal drawers all outrageously unfurled; unexciting.

Making a turn like the hook of a “J” but backward, the halo was briefly erratic and all at once frozen in place. A shiny black finger painting was skittering gently in the concentric, slightly wobbling beam. Its message was cryptic, yet defined. Minimalist. Nagging. The light knew it should bore deeper, but had not the fortitude to halt an additional beat.

The light proceeded. It heaved it’s way up and over. Fanatical translucent drapes kicked it around failing to engross the lights interest. It brimmed and unburdened each shape and satiny melancholy on its thoroughfare, thoroughly apathetic.

“POP!” The sound of glass exploding, the light flicked across the razed room of uninteresting chaos, to a new reflection pond of remnant glass, and paused. Now here was something consequential, something relevant. The circles were suddenly sentimental and attentive. They lingered. “Here it is!” they exclaimed.

No Signal

February 2, 2017

no_signal

The correspondence operations of the underground compound was unattended. All workstations were logged out, but left on. The overhead and ambient lighting were all off. Emergency strip lighting along the floor was a muted orange-yellow and illuminated the undersides of work stations on either side. Two lanes of dual monitor work stations pushed apart by a wide alley that led to a giant screen that spanned all three, filling out the entire wall, with nothing but large white letters in the center of the screen which the smaller screens reiterated – “No Signal.”

The room, carved out of dolomite and sandstone, was arranged as if a nave directed at the chancel and to the right of it a vestry. The comp controllers office all glass outlined in steel, butted up on all sides by the subterranean rock frame. There were no emergency lights visible within. The strip lights down the aisle stuttered as a generator ran out of fuel and another kicked in. When the power fully returned the strips were a bit brighter and the very bottom of the office’s insides were illuminated, the carpet looked shiny with dampness. The rest swallowed up by darkness.

1st Lt, Philipp Stallworth’s eyes were locked on the 10 foot stretch of lit up glass and wet floor. He couldn’t be sure from here, but the carpet just didn’t seem right. He made himself look away, over to his personal station that he swapped with 2nd Lt, Mancuso, twelve hours on, twelve off. He would have never believed while performing his duties under a high level of stress and rigorous expectations, that he would someday find it simpler, almost comforting.

He remembered to breath.

He looked down the endless hallway of rectangularly bored stone and strip lights on his right, then to the left where the strips only made it about 15 yards before their illumination was diffused, fading to pitch black. His heart skipped a beat and he was stuck on his breathing again struggling to maintain balanced timing. Behind he heard the propped open elevator attempting to close, re-positioning to open, waiting patiently only to be rejected upon each consecutive attempt.

Stallworth let in a deep, deep breath and held on to it. Now he was staring at the long vertical handle on the door a yards reach away. He was talking himself into it, or was he talking himself out of it? He closed his eyes and breathed outward, extending his arm along with it. He opened his eyes and as his hand stretched and his grip made initial contact there was a sudden loud pop and the back-up lightening failed.

Blackout.

After the explosion echoed away down the hallway he was there in the dark, the elevator giving up it’s futile battle fell silent; he only heard his breath and the smack of his lips as he swallowed hard. His finger tips were barely on the cold metal, he could feel the weight of the door and electricity tingling through his body pushing up the hair on his arms and the back of his neck. He closed his eyes and wondered what the point of it was there in the void of blackness, but it calmed him down.

He hesitated a bit longer then swung the door open and began feeling his way through the room. There was only one way out of this facility and it was in that vestry, but first he needed to fumble his way past the pews and up to the pulpit.

“Forward is progress,” he thought to himself sliding a foot forward, and colliding with a rolling chair. A breath out… progress.

Just then a clicking, whispering nightmarish cadence fluttered from the front of the room to the rear and the Lieutenant froze in his progress, third workstation down.

He was holding his breath again.

 

Kanone

January 31, 2017

Biathlon Skier
Back home it was a moderately warm winter, in fact Grant had recently washed his car outside in a short-sleeve shirt; in January.

It was now approaching March and the group bus was approaching the foothills after leaving the upper crust stoner town of Boulder to eat at the organizers favorite cash only, hipster restaurant. The food was good. The beer was better, and since he only had to endure the random, yet oddly pointed line of questioning from his seat neighbor, Grant figured indulging was a favorable concept.

“So, this is your first trip with the group, and you used to ski, you skied well. What made you decide, after all these years, to head back out here with a bunch of strangers?” Richard asked ending off in a snort of a laugh finding it clever to call himself a stranger.

“My dad used to take us skiing, it was a thing we did.” What the fuck? Being so frank with anyone, let alone Richard, was not a thing for Grant. How many beers did he have?

“Oh, like a family flash back deal. You should have brought everybody! Your brothers and, you said one sister right? No, it was three sisters and one brother. Right?”

“The second version, minus one sister.”

“So why aren’t you guys all headed out here together?” Richard said

Grant thought to himself how normally in this situation he would get defensive, change the subject, or maybe say that his brother was an asshole, one sister a hot mess the other a super mom, all emotionally removed from family obligation via geography. But, he felt something raw bubbling up inside of him, not just the hops, but something guttural a need to divulge to Richard.

“I guess it was more of a thing for my dad and I…” He paused, “…and my brother.”

Richard sat attentively, gentle eyes. “Is dad still skiing, or…”

“He passed.” A bit of silence. In the moment, Grant focused on the snow and the trees shuffling by and the shifting perspective as he stared at an old and dilapidated ranch built right into a nook where the ground suddenly shot up all around it, almost straight up. A curve in the road hid it from Grant.

“Our dad was a kanone. Our French grandparents called him that. A medalist.” The honesty expanded with the fermented grain in his belly.

“Like in the Olympics?” Richard asked.

“No. As close as you can get though. Expert. Downhill, Biathlon.”

“Wow…”

“Yeah, wow.” Said Grant a little sardonically raising his eyebrows. “And as some fathers do, he expected us to follow him in his ski tracks. My brother was better than me, until he tore his ACL and started snow boarding to disgruntle our dad, whom had suddenly shifted his attention to me as the more likely protege. I was an amazing shot with a rifle.” He closed his right eye as if staring down an iron site with the other and made a gun sound with his mouth.

“Dad wasn’t all that patient. I tried like hell to be what he expected, and be myself at the same time, but the two agendas never meshed.” A spontaneous information dump and suddenly he felt more vulnerable than he was comfortable with. He thought about what he had said to his father the last time they spoke.

“Sorry about your father. It must be tough going up without him.” Richard said after another brief, awkward silence.

Grant wasn’t planing on responding, but said in his head “I wish it was. Will it be?” His face was pressed snug against the cold bus window and the scenery just seemed like replica landscape repeating over and over. He sighed heavily, and let his jaw slack moving the lower left to right popping his ears against the pressure change. He was drunk, and more than drunk he was tired. His stomach was too full and he felt tight all over.

“How often do you think somebody would need to cross country ski and then shoot something in real life?” Richard pontificated.

Grant pulled his jacket up over his shoulder as a blanket while Richard tried convincing himself aloud in exactly what situations it could happen – something about zombie apocalypses, something about Siberia. The scenery seemed to flash by faster. He figured he could sleep and Richard could talk and everyone wins; his eyelids were heavy.

Grant drifted into a dream…


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