Trigger Warning: The following entry is not all positive and may trigger feelings of confusion and or anxiety. I’m not a black and white thinker. There are many shades of gray and final answers of “I dont really know.” I consider this blog to be a lot like everything else in my life, a narcissistic testament to my need to blab about different things and end up often (but not always) more right than wrong. Being right is a very pleasurable sensation and a boost to ones earthly ego (sorry Dalai Lama) but the fact that few people notice makes it even more ironic if not heroic and gives it just the right dash of existential futility. Of course being completely WRONG is usually a far better life lesson and karmic exercise, even tho I dont like to advertise that Cosmic fact…because it is truly humbling.
Picture any old movie or book where there is a sarcastic main character wise-cracking his way through some random hellish scenario, alone or with others, in outer space or just prior to the big shootout at the OK Corral. That approximates CaptCliff’s brand of sardonic humor and out-of-step fatalism. However, as we all know, it’s not cool to be overly negative or pessimistic nowadays. Conversely, it’s uber cool to splash perky inspirational messages and images of success (and superficiality) all over ones Facebook page and Twitter feed ….sort of like Jackson Pollock spilling a bucket of Big Pharma approved happy pills over a floor-sized canvas of red and black resin paint…. gooey Prozac gel-capsules and all. They appear to be absorbed and “blend in” but do such pithy affirmations really get to the bottom of our often complicated lives as human beings?
Dont get me wrong. I have tremendous faith, hope and optimism for and about many individuals. I love children and dogs (and one or two cats), especially those animals that dont immediately go for the jugular vein or end up shaking me like a limp rag doll in their Jurassic Park-sized teeth. I love helping people, particularly young people by assisting them to open their beautiful starry eyes and realize (learn to trust) their unique passion and creative potential. In fact, I really enjoy seeing the art and artistry in nature, in found objects, in good food, and most of all in giving “birth”, so to speak, to anything and practically everything that still retains vestiges of it’s original innocence. On the other hand, I am a strong believer in realism (functional ego), ie. if you make friends with wild Grizzly Bears, ie., like Tim Treadwell, dont be surprised if they decide one day to eat you for lunch. We probably taste like chicken.
I also think there are a fair number of psychopathic-ish people (Grizzly Humans) pretending to be nice “productive citizens” while running shady businesses and bogus operations within large, corrupt, deeply entrenched bureaucratic systems. You know, little organizations like the Federal government, the Vatican, almost every politician, Nigerian telemarketers, Wall Street bankers and investment “managers” , psychiatrists with hidden ties to pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, the CIA, MARTA, the SEC, etc. and probably a number of my own relatives alive and dead…..
While its difficult to separate the human wheat from the chaff, here’s my rule of thumb: dont trust anyone who talks, walks, or peppers their speech with techno-aphorisms, fancy sounding acronyms, policy wonk drivel or grammatical short-cuts plagiarized from an IT manual, the Urban Dictionary, a short course on reverse mortgages and/or the DSM-4 or 5. That’s right. It’s even worse in my field of psychotherapy that so many people (both professionals and clients) now so casually and colloquially assume that it’s healthy to wed mechanistic lingo with diagnostic categories meant only as preliminary typologies rather than lifelong disease ‘badges” confirming ones identity as “bipolar2” or a “premature ejaculator”. Oh well, we have over-labeled and bastardized just about everything else in the world already. We’ve plumbed the depths of the known universe and still continue to kill each other with long pointy sticks, litter the beaches with plastic, Coke cans and cigarette butts, create new mindless/needless “survivor” competitions on TV and tear the heart and soul out of the coral reefs, the rain forest, daytime/nighttime entertainment (reality tv, really?), not to mention trivializing the really fun stuff like sex, food, and bowel movements (ratemypoo.com). Ok, I posted a photo there…once. It was ginormous! Truly, bigger is NOT always better. Just ask my ass. Plus, we really dont need no more stinking “badges” or online rating systems to prove our beauty (ie, “Hot or Not”) or “worth” in this world.
And for all that hard work and social “progress” many of us still believe in ghosts, paranormal phenomena, televised searches for Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster and Jewish Mermaids, while simultaneously carrying on intimate-erotic web based relationships using other peoples identities and photo-shopped pictures. We therefore create and then tolerate facades of facades… of our facades. I guess we’re Catfish Culture now as well as Prozac Nation. No worry, we can still remind each other to “get real” and remember our “true authentic self”, as if its a certain plastic wrapped nicely dry-cleaned garment hanging in a Kardashian-sized walk-in closet.
So sorry for the morning rant. It could just be my reflux GERD last night or the Pikachu nightmare I woke up with this morning (I accidentally left the TV on the Comedy Channel all nite) or it could just be the way our present culture, like really bad junk food, gives me a headache as well as horrible gas and bloating. What is worse is the way all the popular food venues now advertise their 100% “green” practices, their corporate composting, recycling programs and fair-trade policies. Mostly they just rip us off by taking our money and telling us what we want to hear …and I’m not just talking about my pitiful looking Whopper, soggy Big Mac or “air-popped” french fries drenched in salt and preservatives (see Michael Douglas hamburger scene in “Falling Down”).
Of course all of this raises the dreaded “Matrix” question or “Total Recall” if you prefer (as I gulp a handful of colorful Tums): Do you think it’s better to remain “asleep” tied to the blood sucking brain-numbing digital/virtual Matrix? Or is it more of a nightmare to wake up in the middle of a day dream and realize the truth, that human life is relatively short and most people on the planet sweat and toil for survival like foraging animals or hamsters running on a big business/government controlled wheel/power grid. Oops, sorry about that massive oil leak in the Gulf, people!! Hey, c’mon back to Louisiana and Alabama!! Check out our new black sand beaches!! We’ve got delicious three-headed shrimp and mutant sea birds! The albatross taste just like chicken!
Did I mention that BP’s cloying televised advertisements sicken me too?
I’m no George Carlin but he got it right. The planet will survive and eventually shake our species off like a minor case of fleas on an old hound dog. In the meantime let’s try to enjoy the fruit of our Froot-Loop culture. Speaking of irony, did you know there are now giant mosquitoes in Central Florida (as discussed in a previous blog, but see the very latest above) that are TWENTY times the size of the annoying pests already sucking the blood out of morbidly obese kids standing in line at Space Mountain in Orlando. They (the ginormous mosquitoes) look alarmingly like modern Stealth Fighters and they sting like, well, Stinger missiles. Don’t worry, Monsanto and Dow Chemical as well as the makers of the insect spray “Off” are currently working on a state-of-the-art repellant for the Godzilla mosquitos. Can I just call 1-800-BAD-DRUG now and get my “lump sum” settlement? Better they should create a Klingon “cloaking devise” so I can make myself disappear on command using some new cellphone app. I’m sure there is a super smart Millennial kid (and a greedy venture capitalist standing right behind him) working on it as we speak.
Falling Down Hamburger Scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJs9p-VNORw