Generation, Why? A Poem.

As the church bells sing their songs,
Over the pretty lawns and manicured Poms,
Prancing along with a mistress and son,
Sweating in fear they may be outdone,
If all were judging, nobody has won.

With Corinthian columns pitching their tents,
And stone lions to please their gold-digging wench.
Maybe a fuck or blowjob or two,
A diamond for her, a swallow for you.
A child that can never do anything wrong,
A hopeful abortion if there ever was one.

With teachers that know nothing from Adam to Proverbs,
Rape them for teaching your offspring their numbers.
Knowledge is best when served with a skew,
A bias intent is nothing new.

Grow up to be a football star,
Beat up a fag and fuck in your car.
A new Beemer for looking and playing like you,
A girlfriend to cheat on and treat like a tool.

To college you go to become a grad,
You drink and you drive and you call up your dad.
Of course he knew you did nothing wrong,
That child of yours was a star all along.

So hooray for you, the bell at your ball,
This cycle of shit can go on after all.
Because nobody minds, so long as they too,
can be part of a system that favors the few.

8/8/2014

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Nobola!, and the case for Skepticism.

It is evident, by the mainstream media and various social networks, that many people in this great, but often neurotic, nation of the US believe that the terrible and often fatal disease, Ebola, is beginning to spread throughout our population. I couldn’t help but notice the health alerts and unscrupulous reports seeding themselves in the minds of helpless citizens for not much more than a slight increase to their ratings. The way they haphazardly pasted horrific symptoms of the disease as  if a casual encounter with someone from West Africa or a sick child of any ethnic background would cause such an affliction. Some people, and this is just a small bit of what’s to come of this, have already started to buy gas masks, hazmat suits, tarps, and bulk sanitizer from the reports. A pseudo-mass-hysteria (“pseudo” because people are too lazy in this country to truly become hysterical and, when they are not too lazy, they feel safe enough with their tarps, tape, and tinfoil hats) is on it’s way from this, like everything else that the media digs its claws into to sensationalize and monetize. The way that people tend to overreact to such things that never come to fruition is so curious to me. It’s as if they have forgotten about 2012, Nancy Lieder, Pat Robertson, and Harold Camping – and those are just a few from this past decade. Sure, I have sited a few failed predictions about the end of the world, from Wikipedia no less, and I know that predictions from crazy uninformed people about the end of the world has nothing to do with falsified news reports from unethical money-grubbing monsters, but their is a common thread: Ignorance. In all instances, people were discrediting the evidence, all the evidence, from the whole of the scientific community in favor of nonsensical dribble that was convenient and easy to digest. I am not trying to pretend that I am above all those who fall for such chicanery (yes, I just used “chicanery” in a sentence), I am easily fooled as well. It was just a couple of days ago that a close friend of mine called from her Mother’s home in Connecticut about two cases of Ebola being found in Atlanta, Georgia. My immediate reaction was a slight bit of panic and fear – I took what she said at face value and let my anxiety get the best of me. Though I have something in my arsenal that most people don’t: Skepticism. The tools awarded to me by Skepticism allowed me to take a step back from this and properly do my research. I didn’t do a google search for Ebola and click on the first hit because that, I knew, would only deliver the most sensationalized articles with the most hits which doesn’t necessarily mean the most accurate. I immediately went to the Center for Disease Control’s website, CDC.gov, and typed in Ebola. The information I found was extremely informative and let me in on a little secret: That the United States is at almost zero risk for an Ebola epidemic, that the epidemic is only in West Africa at the moment and has infected about 1600 people, killing 800, and while this is a very depressing statistic, it is nothing close to the numbers the media made it seem were effected. So, it pays to be aware. It is not criticism, denial, or cynicism. It is simply a case of choosing to have the facts, vet all sources, and listen to people who do this sort of thing for a living.

mat. a poem.

take this passive aggression
as a lesson or suggestion,
my objection of digression this composition of admission,
an impression and a mention of your vexing predilection,
aiding my defection of your terminal affliction,
a prideful martyred host of zealous hopeful proud perfection,
a melancholy drought without an ounce of consolation,
a constant source of self-absorbing over-stretched production,
suggesting this is all that you have hoped to skip detection,
but seeing this I hope you strive to correct your misdirection.

Michael Morelli
7/25/2014

Some Dumb Name. – The Podcast

Cooter

Here it is, the first of many promised Podcasts from Jess “Ginger Jess” Ross and I. Keep in mind, this is our very first one and it isn’t perfect, so lower your damned expectation you vultures! We still haven’t decided on a name yet, so please leave comments and suggest one. We have a ton of topics to cover, people to interview, and interesting, funny, and wildly inappropriate stories to tell – you know, the kind that dry out Michele Bachman’s vagina. Please, give us a listen and again, be sure to tell us how you feel and give us suggestions and comments for future shows. Thanks.

You can find more about Jess and her artwork at her blog, The Art of Ginger Jess.

Death, Dying, and the After-party (that you’re not invited to)

The_Death_of_Socrates_croppedBefore I begin, I would like to give credit to the Athiest Experience TV Show, specifically Episode #865, which has persuaded me to finally post this and has given me many more insights on this topic and others. I would also like to point out that at no point in the proceeding will there be any appeals to an afterlife as this is another topic altogether that I will discuss in another post.  I am simply addressing my idea of life after death and coming to terms with the fact that there probably isn’t one.

All too often I find myself laying in bed, the covers wrapped around me, my cat cradled against my side, thinking that one day, in the future, at some time currently unknown to myself or anyone, I will simply cease to exist. My heart will stop beating, my breath will subside, and my brain, now deprived of oxygen, will slowly begin to die. I think about the colors I’ll see and the visions of past loved ones – the result of my dying brain releasing endorphins. Then, like a wilted flower, I will cease to be anymore. I’d be lying if I said that there isn’t a very large part of me anxiety ridden about the notion of not existing, but I think it’s just that – not existing; like Christopher Hitchens put it shortly before his own death,

“It will happen to all of that at some point you’ll be tapped on the shoulder and told, not just that the party is over, but slightly worse: the party’s going on but you have to leave.”

It is not death itself I’m worried about because there will be nothing to be worried about – no one to continue on worrying. I, like an extinguished flame of a candle, will simply be no more. To me, I will not exist much the same as not have ever existed. Though, it’s more than that, there will be no “to me”. I will not have the experience of not existing because the very thing that is “me” or “I” will cease to be. There are so many people who obsess about what death might be like and it simply won’t be like anything. The closest we could get is to imagine where we were in the year 600 A.C.E or any year before the year we were born. You have no recollection because there was no you to recollect. Like Mark Twain said,

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

I sometimes think of the notion of infinity and scare myself by imagining how, when I die, I will never exist again, ever. Even as I write this, I feel a chill, an unsteadiness, that once I am gone I will always be gone. I often always thought of death as sleeping, mainly because I think the idea of sleeping is comforting and familiar. Though, there is a massive difference between sleeping and death: you don’t wake up from death and sleeping isn’t infinite. I enjoy falling asleep knowing that there will be a largely unnoticed passing of time and then I will wake up again, the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world (at least, that’s the idea however, my mornings never quite go that way), but death isn’t like that – it isn’t comforting in that respect; death feels cold, foreign, and, again, infinite. I feel as though I’ll be waiting to exist again and that the infinite expanse will be an unavoidable hell that will never end.  So, I’ve tried to console myself from this uneasiness by remembering that I won’t be yearning for anything because, I won’t be me. As I keep on saying, there will be nothing that I can miss or want or feel because I am no longer. And if I did exist at all, why would I be yearning for existence?

It seems settled, the fear and unknowing, but I still can’t shake this uneasiness. Even though I am completely aware of the fact that I will cease to be, I still manage to be consumed by this feeling of dread. Though there will be nothing to be worried about – nothing and no one to feel any feelings. My brother once said that his “main issue with death is the fact that you’re here and conscious now and soon you won’t be”. It seems to be the experience of life and living that makes us fear our demise – the very fact that we can reflect on it. Maybe this fear is the price of having self-awareness. It is not a stretch to imagine that the complexity that arose during our evolution largely depended on our desire to self-preserve.

So here I sit, again, writing this, still feeling the same uneasiness, but comfortable in the fact that I, me, can sit here at all – if even for a little while. I can not help but reflect on and end with this lovely yet poignant quote by Richard Dawkins:

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”

Rebuke

The morning was rather cold. The sky cast a silver hue over the rooftops of the quaint little Vermont village he called home. The manicured lawns seemed to dance as light scattered in the drops of dew resting on the bright green blades. He decided to walk to work today, only now realizing that this was a poor decision as the chill swept through the air and found comfort in his bones. He felt the weight of his breakfast bearing down on him oddly comforting. The cold glass of orange juice, the scalding mug of jet black coffee, and the delectable poached egg and Canadian bacon perched on top of an English muffin, smothered in thick hollandaise. I love my wife, he thought to himself as a whimsical smile crossed his lips.

With every step he felt that all too familiar sensation of time coming to a complete and utter stop – something that tended to happen as he neared the glass-front prison he called work. He reveled at the sheer size of it – how it seemed so very out of place against the backdrop of quaint suburban homes and independently owned farmer’s markets. Coming to the massive entryway, that resembled a door much the same way a tyrannosaurus rex resembles an ostrich, he grasped the cold steel handle which sent a chill through his core. This made the discovery that it wasn’t opening even more frustrating. He located the smallish black buzzer hidden inconveniently beside the scanner. He pressed it with his knuckle and, with an almost inaudible click, the glass panel swung open.

The lobby always impressed him. Whether it was the vaulted ceilings or the Venetian replicas tacked on the gold and cream walls, it made him feel so insignificant. Hearing his echoed footsteps only heightened the sensation. He spotted a group near the elevator door and watched as their blank expressions grew cold with the same distant nausea that he was feeling. We’re all so programmed, he thought, as he nervously gnawed at the soft flesh in his cheeks. The antique arm above him twisted to the left as the car began to descend. After a long pause the door parted, as if to say it preferred they take the stairs instead. The group piled on while shouting out their desired floors, completely unaware of those around them.

Standing inside of the elevator, he felt a cold bead of sweat begin to form on his right temple. He raised his arm and wiped the droplets off his brow leaving an unflattering mark on his sleeve. Tight spaces always bothered him and a crowded elevator was no different. He could handle the gentle ride up the narrow, dimly lit shaft, but it was the constant jolt of stopping at every floor and the incessant cry of the twenty year old buzzer that created a whirlwind of nausea. He thought of the bright yellow hollandaise and winced.

With another loud buzz and an unsettling moment of silence, the door parted. The space before him unfolded into a monotonous blend of tightly woven dark green carpet and ivory walls dotted with brass sconces that coated everything in a warm light. He walked into the endless passageway and began to make the trek down to the office where he’d spent three quarters of his daily life when he suddenly realized that he had no idea where he was.

He began to run frantically searching for somewhere he could recognize, but to no avail. Everywhere he looked seemed so foreign. So distant – so far from reality. As he stumbled through the halls he tried to force open every door he passed. They wouldn’t budge, as if they were cemented in place.

The last door opened to the stairwell and he began to descend, taking care to realize each step beneath his feet. He quickened his pace, feeling every emotion and thought coalesce into a single sensation – one that ran from his firm grip on the railing to his fingertips. Overcome by the friction he reflexively loosened his grip and felt himself begin to tumble down the cold steps.

Unfortunately, he was not graced with the ease of unconsciousness as he fell and had the opportunity to experience the crushing pain of two of his ribs splintering against the cement. He hit the floor with a thud and wondered if head trauma would have been a blessing.

Stumbling to his feet he felt a painful spasm as his broken ribs shifted their position. With each passing breath, the pain became more real and intense. Overcome with the sensation he promptly vomited, watching as the bright yellow hollandaise spread across the stairwell floor. He thought it might make him feel better. It didn’t. Feeling he could descend no longer and despite his haste, he thought he should probably take the elevator.

It was odd to feel such relief in a place he hated and, at times, feared. But for now, the elevator gave him a moment of reassurance. Something familiar he could touch and hold on to. Unlike the empty corridors where he felt exposed and alone, it was here, now, that he felt safe.

Released into the lobby, he was once again overcome by mixed emotions. He marveled at the vaulted ceilings tiled with muted earth tones erupting in a dizzying pattern. The Venetian replicas, the gold and cream walls, the way his steps echoed off the polished marble, the familiarity of feeling overwhelmed. At this moment, like the elevator, he wished he could stay here, hold on to this brief moment of clarity, but even now as he made his way toward the exit, he felt a distance creep up through his thoughts, his feelings begin to drift and the faces tacked on the gold and cream walls lose their features. Again, he quickened his pace, measuring his steps even more carefully, wincing at the pain in his side. He reached the door and leaned against it. He dreaded the outside – afraid that this nightmare may not be over. That this phenomenon might not be contained within these walls. He braced himself, winced, and pushed.

There was not a voice. Not a sound or vibration. No murmurs in the distance. No sirens, chirps, whistles, or blaring or screams. He saw no cars or trucks or planes in the air. No mothers walking their children. No squirrels or chipmunks or birds singing. No dogs on leashes or  men obsessively checking their watches. Not even the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves on the trees. The chill that sank into his core managed to dwarf the horror he endured earlier, and that fleeting feeling began to resurface with a vengeance. He began to run, pacing each foot in front of the last, the pain intensified with exertion. He proceeded past the empty parks and empty houses. Gazed upward at the empty skies. The quiet outside even more intense than before, as even the sounds of his footsteps and breath were lost in the void.

He came to another desolate road and stopped. Something felt right about this road – familiar. He looked around for clues, something he could recognize and grasp. He looked at the hydrant overgrown with ivy. He looked at the hanging branches overtaking the stop sign and the blades of grass that grew into monstrous structures of their former selves. He began to wonder just how long he was inside that building. Just how long have they been gone?  He noticed the corner house with the blinds that were constantly drawn to avoid exposing the strangled spaces cluttered with artifacts, some too old to identify. He lowered his gaze and, at that moment, one of the few memories left in his fleeting conscience materialized before him. He lost sight of his pain and the feelings of abandonment; the feelings of hopelessness. He shifted his weight toward the house, his legs trailing behind him. He didn’t bother to look where he stepped, he didn’t notice the sky or the silence. He wanted nothing more than to reach that house. The one that remained a mystery, felt so distant, until now. Until everything else disappeared.

He reached the window, not bothering to try the door, he used his elbow from one arm to break in the glass, taking care to shield his ribs with the other. The sound of the glass was deafening, he hoped for the clatter of an alarm, something that noticed his intrusion – that realized he was there. What he heard was silence. He climbed in, mindful of the shattered remains of the window and his aching ribs. He steadied himself, peering at the piles of boxes and memories on display. Fixed on the family portraits carefully arranged in crates stacked neatly on the floor. He tiptoed through the clutter, careful not to disturb the heaps of empty cartons and containers. Stepping toward the center of the room he transfixed on a pile of newspaper clippings scattered haphazardly on the floor. He reached through the pile and shuffled through them feeling their crisp edges against his tired hands. He passed by the statues of Angels, Saints, and Mary, and Jesus arranged on a shelf riddled with scratches and dust. There were several couches in the space, and chairs, desks, lamps, tables, chandeliers with their wires exposed that lay slumped and forgotten, wires of all kinds that once had purpose, and toys and games missing their pieces. He collected his thoughts and gathered himself as best the space would allow. This was someone’s life. This was someone’s history. It seemed so wrong to hold on to things like this, such trivial things, but it seemed so wrong not too. He felt attached to these things. Maybe because they were the only things he thought he knew. Maybe just because he was curious. He was so accustomed to distancing himself from things, like the things you hear on the news and the accidents you find yourself passing by. He was even starting to disconnect from the events that transpired today, but for some reason, this stuff, these things in this particular house, they bothered him. They felt familiar. He felt connected to them.

Outside he felt the cool breeze lap against him and could hear the soft rustle of the leaves. As he walked away from the cluttered house, the sound of the rustling began to fade and the air, once again, became still. He walked toward the horizon, gazing upon the setting sun. He welcomed the cold night air and saw the end of this horrid day as relief. All he wanted now, more than anything, was to feel the warm embrace of his wife. To feel her soft skin and smell her faded perfume on the nape of her neck. He wanted to caress her back and kiss her lips, and feel the touch of her legs entwined with his. Though, he knew there was little hope of her being there. There was little hope of anyone being anywhere. Everyone was gone. Why he remained was a mystery. The most he could hope for was the soft comfort of his own bed. If he could scream he would, but he needed the energy to get home – whatever home was. Whatever home looked like.

As he marched on, the air soon went from refreshing to hostile as it whipped his muddled shirt into a frenzy. He pulled the slack fabric tight around his neck and subdued the flailing. Walking further, he began to feel the tiniest fraction of hope well up within him. The first time he felt such a feeling since the day began. His footsteps responded by increasing in intensity. As the night fell, the sky grew cold with warm pastels that filled him with ease. This day was almost over. Looking in the distance, against every notion of every thought and every possible combination of emotion that he felt today, he suddenly realized, that what seemed to just materialize in the distance, could be nothing else than his house.

Running he thought again about his wife. He felt that she must be there. She must be the last one remaining. She wouldn’t leave him like the others. She would stay behind, like she always did. That last thought ground his footsteps to a halt. He tumbled over himself and met the road with his pallid face. The last sound he heard was the sudden crunch of his skull shattering against the cold black surface.

 She let out an inaudible shriek as the last remaining volume of air escaped her lungs. Shaken by the horrific events that have unfolded in her head, she sat up, wide-eyed and petrified. Using the edge of her king-sized pillow-top to steady herself, she steadily placed one arm over the battered crutch leaning against the wall. Making her way into the bath, she toggled the switch and watched as the reflection of a battered woman flicked into focus on the vanity mirror. She palmed the bruises on her face, and leaned into the crutch as her broken ribs shifted in agony. She found herself gazing into her beaten expression, lost in the cavernous recesses of her tortured mind. She is shackled to this man. She gently pushed the mirror to the left to reveal a small recess containing a safe nestled in the wall. She twisted the combination with care, as she has done many times before to retrieve the artifacts and forbidden relics of her past. She peered inside and located the only item in this space that was not hers. The one he insisted he store for his protection. The irony. She grasped its handle and cushioned its form against her chest.

With purpose and despite the crutch, she glided like an Olympian on ice back to the slumbering mass. Carefully, she tilted her head and directed the aim of the pistol at his relaxed and peaceful body. She pulled in a deep slow breath and stood, frozen for a moment, calculating the trajectory. She exhaled slowly and gently pulled the trigger.

Suffering for Revenge for Suffering

The proceeding is a response to the general consensus of comments posted to the article, CHILD RAPIST RAPED, Stitched By Medics, and RE-RAPED BY 20 PRISONERS.

The difficulty with language is that sometimes it fails to capture the essence of one’s emotions. Every word , being defined by other words, leads to a circular reasoning, which only serves to become more abstract and meaningless the more you try to understand it. It is no wonder why words, as deep as they cut, cannot draw as much satisfaction as actual wounds. It seems natural for us to desire justice akin to the suffering endured by the victims because, “talk is [just so] cheap” and sitting around all day having your needs met by the law-abiding tax payers hardly seems like justice anyway.

Let’s reflect on that last, often overlooked,  statement – a tired point raised by those who never bothered to think about what it is they’re actually saying. Yes, we strive to make the prison system as comfortable as possible with three meals (and snacks!) a day, gym facilities, activities, religious service, therapy, healthcare, education, etc. The reason we try to treat hardened (and not so hardened) inmates like this is because we are not punishing them – we are rehabilitating them. We have moved from the vengeful torture and suffering days of old to the enlightened modern era where we now have a better understanding of why people do the things they do. The purpose has always been the same, which was to change bad behavior, but now we realize that there are different, more successful, and more humane ways of getting there. As a victim, I realize this would not satisfy me, but this is why victims of crimes do not get to decide how justice is best served. Closure for the surviving victims of all crimes come in all sorts of different forms, but it should not fall on the suffering of the convicted. Bad things happen for all sorts of reasons, most out of our control. If we are always reliant on the suffering of others who may have caused us anguish to gain closure, what then of the things caused by things without people to blame? I just think that we are better off with a shift in our thinking when it comes to our emotions; they should belong to us and not have to rely on the well-being (or lack thereof) of another.

The last point is a quick one on suffering itself. There is no benefit to the suffering of others. None. There will be nothing gained by anyone. That satisfaction one might feel from seeing another in pain is nothing compared to the humanity they loose as a result and the never ending desire to want to see more. As long as they are wreaked by the pain of their loss or enveloped in the cloud of their own suffering, they will never be satisfied.

Judge My Taste In Music

I love the questions that were raised by this post. See my response in the comments section on the original post.

The Blank Pages

Some context: I like (but am not a hardcore fan of) rock and metal music such as Metallica, Halestorm and Evanescence, while not particularly fond of music from Justin Bieber, One Direction and the like.  Based on my immature logic back then, I would vehemently tell people that “Justin Bieber is an atrocity to music.”  I really want to give myself fifty slaps across the face.  Maybe more.

This is because I was forced to not realise, but acknowledge, that there are songs I enjoy, even if they are not purely rock or metal.  Songs from Disney movies, classical, video games, a cappella…anything.

I think the bigger question is whether or not one’s taste in music reflect ones character.  Perhaps it doesn’t apply to everyone, but it’s something we might not realise.  What we do realise, though is how we tend to react to other people’s tastes in music.

I…

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