The House of Cards Show (Spoiler Free Review)

House of Cards Logo Captured from URL http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/House_of_Cards_logo.svg for review purposes only. The use of this image is for subjective review only.

 

 

I’ve been watching the first few episodes of House of Cards on Netflix so much like everyone else I get my entertainment online these days. Which to me is an improvement for all of society. House of Cards to me represents quite a few things going on in the minds of the artist, writhers, directors, and actors involved with the project but also attitudes on a wider range. There is always something to keep in mind when it comes to information gathered through subjective entertainment sources however some valid points can be raised through this medium as well. It all depends on which perspective you are choosing to represent.   The problem with entertainment is that often it is the drama that drives us to continue watching, reading, or looking on like child at the stars through a window seal. This is the purpose of entertainment after all. However, my point is that this also causes a problem for not only ourselves as individuals but on a large societal scale millions of people sit in front of a box for 5 or more hours a day and soak in all kinds of information.

 

Some of it very beneficial and good information, a lot of it however is quite disturbing. That is until you discover that the best news typically is a result of a bad situation. Solutions my friends are those bits of good news you get in your daily routine. Whether by a dumb stroke of hair-brained luck or by competent execution of a disciplined plan of action each of us are capable of bringing good news to the world but many of us choose, myself included, to ignore the faults going on around us and do nothing to fix them and instead replace the positive feelings that come with victory or from hard work paying off with the delusions of reality that often find their way through the various mediums of information transfer technology like television, the internet, radio, newspapers, and even word of mouth.   Enter House of Cards, a Netflix original series featuring an all star cast of actors, writers, directors, and film makers alike. It is very well written and features quite a controversial narrative, that is if you’re what some of my friends call a “Hipster Puritan” who believes that government and only government can bring peace to the world. House of Cards presents us with a crack team of dirty politicians who do quite impressively and competently deal with the matters of the day.

 

That is by deliberately misleading those around them, coercing those same people into dangerous situations, and murdering those who find out about the skeletons in their closets. Oh the feeling of poetic justice in this series is just to die for. All of those ideas are challenged at their very core bringing to my mind a very important question. What is Government?   I already know there is such a thing as an ideal Government, we all have a notion that some how or some way that this entity we have chosen to name Government will lead the world to a more peaceful path than that which we are on. That is, until you realize the true cost of putting forth any such ideas in a serious manner. The point of my statement is to point out a flaw in the system. It is quite a simple flaw upon first review until you realize the magnitude and scale of this problem and that this problem doesn’t really have big stone buildings or politicians holding it up. Government is human incompetence. We all know how messed up we are sometimes, even if we don’t intend to be, we make horrible and stupid mistakes all the time.

 

There is no preparing for stupidity or incompetence except by preparing for it which means you must always be aware of your flaws. You must remove your ego from the equation all together and realize how important and impact filled your actions really are. In doing so you are already putting yourself and others at less risk to create an excuse for Government to intervene and ruin your lives.   People who realize this early on typically are in no position to do any real damage to those who have decided long ago that they are going to rule by brute force, lies, and coercion thus acquiring great amounts of wealth, military might, connections with influential people in society who band together and form pacts, friendships, enemies, and economics systems. You have no hope to beat that system on your own. When faced with an adversary this powerful you don’t want to find yourself battling them on their home court unless you are sure you have more of an edge than they could ever hope for. Which for most of us is never going to happen. To imagine that any of you could compete with this level of intelligence gathering, police training, military might, and sophistication is ludicrous at best.  To those of you who happen to read this who do have a good measure of resources, connections, and have a definitive plan of where you are going in life please understand this one thing.   Knowing how messed up the average person is and knowing that more than half of those people are even way more messed up with different disorders, chemical poisoning, poor diets, poor education, poor to no living standards or direction in life. After knowing all that can you not see that resorting to the same tactics as an ignorant street criminal with a total lack of respect for human life that will make your stomach toil and keep you up at night.

 

Having power over others due to your lack of honor, decency, and virtue is nothing short of a tragedy. Stooping to the same levels of those you oppose simply to be right and remain in power to me shows the only power you really have. It is your greatest weapon against those who would oppose you. Fear.   House of Cards on Netflix shows us in very entertaining fashion just how chaotic and grim life as a politician or influential person really could be in real life. Let’s not get all Plato’s Cave here and discuss whether or not a shadow is just a false copy of the real thing or anything. I’m simply pointing out why I adore this show in particular. It lies to you, but in a way that let’s you know it’s all a lie. Which is the true brilliance of the whole show! The system, the politicians, the people involved in Washington D.C. are just as flawed, egotistical, and as dangerous if not more dangerous than common people or criminals.   The phrase “poetic justice” is done a great service in this series. As tables are constantly turned against your ideologies and then suddenly your ideas are the basis of a bold and successful new idea that works for everyone in the end. This show takes you on a roller coaster ride of political intrigue and often feels like an old gumshoe thriller as you attempt to piece together everyone’s motives and intentions throughout the narrative. It really does inspire one to think directly outside the box when it comes to politics. The status quo must  both tested and made to be necessary at times and House of Cards does just that and it is stupendous!

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Pinnaclism

Ampersand Daily2

Pinnaclism is my idea of looking at the vastly superior ideas from any given political or social movement and combining them under one umbrella. When those ideas compete with one another, we should lean towards the more ideal conditions and compromise those ideas which are not in our best interest by accepting the faults of that idea and allowing new and innovative ideas to take their place. This will require a high degree of intellectual honesty and also the ability to let go of preconceived notions once it has become apparent that one idea is inferior to the other.

This is a new term that I have come up with and in my opinion is the only solution to an authoritarian state where violence is deemed required to spread ideology. Pinnaclism still allows freedom of expression, thought, and allows us all to have our positions without the threat of violence. However once put to the test on the market or public arena and adjusting to the reality of the situation, it will become necessary to allow the winning idea to flourish . This requires a very active participation from individuals on a personal basis where we all seek to improve ourselves one step and one day at a time. Where problems exist, people must bring their ideas to the table, even if faulty, it will create a ground by which another can apply the benefit of hindsight and fill in the gaps. This process should repeat until ultimately the economic or social situation is solved to the satisfaction of those individuals involved.

This can be done on a large-scale without coercion or violence though I believe in and still  see the need for very strong defensive violence as detractors from this idea will preemptively strike and lash out at those of us trying to make improvements to our world. That said, through the use of ideologies such as voluntary free trade and association, charities, and many other economic and social options available to all of us at any given moment, we can avoid unwarranted violence more often than not. As a result violence will become less of a problem as time pushes forward. Actions taken by individuals that threaten the existence of others must be met with cold intelligence and brute force. Once on display, parties involved are open to public scrutiny and free press where the violence and coercion are observed in a very public way. If two individuals or collective of individuals seek war with another or among themselves they would be immediately held accountable by social and market forces which seek to render their aggression obsolete by providing similar and superior results that should persuade more people than not to both hold up private agreements and share among each other without the use of violence.

Perhaps in this way, we can eventually find the root causes of aggressive authority in our world and in the interest of the survival of our species dig and cut those roots once and for all, ridding ourselves of an evolutionary weakness and replace it with genuine authority who would have all the resources and reasons available to them to sustain a peaceful social order. I ask you the reader to understand that this does not mean pacifism. In all actuality it means this new social order has the ability to render unjustified violence completely and totally obsolete by having the resources to do so constantly being upgraded through voluntary free trade which will always seek to protect itself from outside illegitimate threats of violence on itself and those who benefit from it.

Try to imagine the possibilities and corrections you can make to my idea and run with it to the next person who works with you peacefully to create new realities, the idea is to allow this process to continue and grow into a new society based on real information and the accepting of new proposals in order to reach a peaceful end to all situations. For the overwhelming majority of time violence will not be necessary and as a result new innovations will only arise faster and better as time pushes forward uninterrupted by those among us who do not have the strength and peace of mind to build and maintain a society we can all enjoy and benefit from. In that case, it will not be an unfortunate turn of events to see these overly aggressive authoritarian forces eliminated from the scene and will also allow new innovations in dealing with these forces more and more peacefully with each passing year. Imagine being able to stop a killer without killing them and simultaneously benefiting from their labor and rehabilitating them and their would be victims to allow a much more prosperous situation to occur. The outright hedonist will not be able to bring about their anarchy on the backs of every living soul of which they would take pleasure in harming, rather, every living soul has an opportunity to present the hedonist with a choice. Responsible freedom or seclusion from freedom. 

I strongly desire all forms of criticism for this article. Whether you completely hate, moderately hate, moderately love, or completely love what I’ve put forward please leave a comment below. This is not meant to be a populist movement by any means, it is a means to an end that discourages such action but rather is an open door to any and all dissent and acceptance. That being said, both dissent and acceptance of this idea taken to extremities that result in massive demonstrations that seek to harm other’s interest will not be tolerated by myself. My goal isn’t to create a monster.  I want this to become the absolute most ideal way of looking at the world so it will require myself at times to be corrected and I completely accept that responsibility. So, if you believe you can improve or even disprove these ideas please do not be shy. It will only strengthen the idea either way and as a label it will survive any and all adjustments to the philosophy as it is meant to consistently be improved upon.

Music Review, Kyuss; Blues for Queens and of the Red Stone Age Sun; Part 1 of 3

Ampersand DailyMusic

I will provide the track name, number, length, and a link to the lyrics for each song followed by my review of each song. My favorite site for looking up song lyrics is http://www.songmeanings.net/ so if possible I will use their site almost exclusively. Also, I recommend using Spotify to listen to these songs as you read through the review. https://www.spotify.com/us/for-music/ If you do not want to use Spotify visit YouTube and look for the songs on there. http://www.youtube.com/

I realize my interpretations are not going to match that of the creators or of every body out there, hell maybe not anyone out there. But that’s not what this is all about. I am doing this because I love art and inspiration and blogging. Not to insult anyone or ruin anybody’s day out there so please, if you feel I have insulted you in any way through my interpretations please let me know as kindly as you can conceive how I might change the way I’m looking at a song or film or even just a piece of art work. This is about being open and communicating well with others in a positive manner. Not personal agenda’s.

Lastly, I find that often lyrics listed in the albums inserts and album art are sometimes different from what is actually presented on the song itself. I strongly recommend reviewing the lyrics on Song Meanings and attempting to edit where necessary. This is the first part of a two page review. The reason I have chosen to divide it into two articles is because there is a controversial story to be shared about this band, it’s members, and it’s “intellectual property.” My wordpress page is for both entertainment and also to talk about more serious dilemma’s in the world that I feel are important to talk about. This whole scenario I am going to attempt to tell fits perfectly into the mission of this wordpress and consider this to be one of my more passionate pieces to date. I am not here to offend anyone, but if my opinions do offend you, please share the reasons, I am not closed minded to criticism in any way, so please do share your thoughts below. This albums holds a special place in my heart, along with most of Kyuss’ library. They are not a perfect band, they are not that uber success story that everyone loves to hear about. In fact, just lately, former members sued each other and fought legally for rights to the bands name and music. It is a tragedy in Rock and Roll that breaks my heart. I had the pleasure of seeing the second effort of this bands wonderful premise, straight forward, yet extremely unique blend of stoner rock and what I always felt was a strong mixture of 90’s and 50’s rock. Under the name and guise of the title Kyuss Lives! comprised of three of the four original members and two replacement members, the band toured Europe and the United States playing old Kyuss tracks for fans across the world. This was brought to a halt once they tried to gain the rights to the name “Kyuss” and two former band mates brought a civil suit against Kyuss Lives for copyright infringement.  This band eventually spawned to more successful project of the lead guitarist, Josh Homme, named Queens of the Stone Age, of whom I consider myself a fan of as well. However, the lawsuit has me angry with Mr. Homme at the moment and I do not feel obliged to buy the latest release, even though I want to. For this to happen to two of my favorite bands breaks my heart. Let’s get names out of the way, this is going to be a long, perhaps segmented music review because of my love for this kind of music, and also because of the important legal matters involved. It is perhaps not a unique situation all together, but it does have a bit of notoriety behind it so I feel obliged, being a big fan, to say my two cents here on my WordPress blog. Here is a list of both original cast of musicians Kyuss and of Kyuss Lives! so we can understand who, what, when and where what a little bit better. Each name will lead you to a wikipedia page about each musician.  Kyuss  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyuss) 1987-1995

Kyuss Lives! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyuss_Lives!)

2010-Current
I saw Kyuss Lives! in Chicago at The Vic on December 2nd 2011. In March of 2012, Josh Homme and Scott Reeder filed a lawsuit naming his former band mates as the defendants. The lawsuit was filed in federal court under the charge of “trademark infringement and consumer fraud by Kyuss Lives!”  
This is what Josh Homme had to say in a press release. 

“It sucks. To think we went to a meeting in January solely to help them with their request to continue Kyuss Lives! With open arms, we made every attempt to help them continue Kyuss Lives! respectfully. Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, Kyuss Lives! management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name Kyuss. This is desperately what we were trying to avoid. It’s a sad day for us and for John – but most of all for the fans. What a needless mess.”– Josh Homme

 

Scott Reeder made this post on his facebook page to comment on the situation as well. “Maaaaaaan, I’ve been called every foul name in the book, and all I did was make a choice to stand up to defend and retain small rights that I should be able to keep sacred and unhindered for the rest of my life and beyond. I didn’t have much of a choice: lose all of the rights in two weeks, or keep them forever. I didn’t choose to be in this situation at all — I was forced to react very quickly with a looming deadline, and it’s been rough. I saw people bitterly divided over this stupid stuff… crazy. But the overwhelming support from friends and family was very much appreciated and needed. Thank you.” -Scott Reeder

Kyuss from Dungeons and Dragons game.

Kyuss; D&D Character

http://www.canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Kyuss

Disciple_of_Kyuss

Disciple of Kyuss; D&D Character.

http://ddadventuresystem.wikia.com/wiki/File:Disciple_of_Kyuss.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyuss_(Greyhawk)

The above pictures and links are there to provide the fact that it was not Josh Homme who invented the name Kyuss, not even a little bit. So I have to ask myself, why didn’t the “true owners” of this character, name, and likeness not come forward when Kyuss was first formed to begin with? All I have to go on is a theory, but I imagine that certain people view sharing ideas and information differently than others. I have heard a lot of fans say that just because Josh Homme and Scott Reeder didn’t have to sue, doesn’t mean they should just let the members of Kyuss Lives walk all over them. That said, it still remains they could have chosen to let this go in favor of a friendship, for the fans sake, and also for the survival of a band that is beloved by many people. Allowing something you worked really hard on to continue to live on with your former band mates and friends to me would seem to please most people I know, especially considering the level of success Josh has gained for himself with Queens of the Stoneage. It’s easy to take the route where just because it’s legal, means he could and should have sued, but I honestly believe everything would have been much better if Josh Homme would have let this go and let his former work continue to live on. He should consider the fact that Wizards of the Coast nor Hasbro gave him any legal trouble when Kyuss first hit the scene. He and his band mates were able to create music that inspired a whole bunch of people based on a characters name that was lifted from a campaign in the table top game of Dungeons and Dragons. To me, this is hypocritical of him to sue.

Brandt Bjork had this to say in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“In the summer of 1987, I started a band with my best friend, Chris Cockrell. This band would ultimately become Kyuss. Kyuss was a name I found in a Dungeons and Dragons book called Fiend Folio. Kyuss is a big part of my life as a musician, and when someone asks me formal questions about Kyuss, or wants to discuss the band casually, I can’t help having a point of view that is naturally inherited by someone who is the original founding member.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/kyuss-lives-respond-to-josh-homme-scott-reeders-lawsuit-20120521#ixzz2XyikRlGM 

Before moving on I’d just like to say that I admire all of these musicians for their extremely creative and talented attributes. Their music, even their side projects, have inspired me to learn more about music in general and have even helped me get through tough situations by providing me with amazing music to inspire the best in me to come out and shine, like all good music should do. I realize my opinions don’t really hold sway over the situation, but I think it’s important to share our opinions openly so despite having the unpopular opinion here, I side with Kyuss Lives! in this situation. Mostly due to the fact that they at one time were all friends and if I were in Josh Homme’s shoes I would be happy to let my old band mates and friends use the name Kyuss and even claim it as their own. Simply because they were there from the beginning too, they helped create the project and made it into the band all the fans still love today. I would have been happy to know that something I was heavily involved with was going to see new light and perhaps have a second chance to take off. I realize there are monetary concerns here, but sometimes money shouldn’t be what’s important. Again, this is just my opinion on how I believe I might have handled the situation. Considering both Josh and Scott both enjoy very much alive music careers, especially Josh with Queens of the Stoneage being as popular as they are. This should have been a situation where he could sit back and enjoy the fact that his creativity has allowed his friends to enjoy the benefits of working with him on something that many fans still hold on to. 
Obviously I have a biased opinion on this because I really just love Kyuss, the band, and am sad that the project simply cannot continue because of money. I’m not sure how I would react if I were Josh Homme in this situation, perhaps the same way, perhaps not. I understand that Brandt Bjork and John Garcia attempted to claim ownership of the name “Kyuss” as well, and I think that’s just as wrong as Josh suing them for it, but at least Brandt acknowledges where the name actually comes from in his interview with Rolling Stone. Josh to me, along with Scott Reeder, seem to have done this simply because they could. It’s not as if John Garcia and Brandt Bjork weren’t there from the very beginning or anything like, this isn’t a perfect stranger coming along and stealing material right out from under Josh and Scott. It’s as if I’m supposed to forget that John and Brandt had EVERYTHING to do with Kyuss as a band becoming a reality. Josh and Scott definitely played their part, Josh more so than perhaps anyone else which is why I say, if I were him, I would have been more than happy to let Brandt and John continue to play old Kyuss songs under the name Kyuss and generating a buzz for the band as they continue on to make new albums. I know the objection to my argument is obviously that Brandt and John filed for ownership over the name, but like I said
I realize by now this is old news, but it presents me an opportunity to express a concern I have about intellectual property while also reviewing one of the best rock albums from the 90’s that I feel not enough people have heard. When listening to this album, please ask yourself, if you think it is of high quality. Should anyone own an idea? More specifically, should anyone, myself included, be allowed to force others to pay them for using an idea that either resembles their or is a direct copy of their idea? I think force in any situation is bad and that if you have to use it, your ideas are wrong to begin with. But that is just my humble opinion and you did not come here to read a bunch of band drama, or maybe you did, nevertheless this part of the article has run it’s course and I feel it is time to start the actual album review. Which you will find in Part 2 as soon as it’s finished. 

We are not done here!

Devil’s Advocate:

I am writing this into this article because after some serious thinking, there is another angle to be considered here. I have a strong emotional connection to Kyuss which could blind me from anything outside of allowing the project to continue unobstructed. That is why I have added this section to the article, to provide a train of thought that contrast what I personally want and gives Josh Homme and Scott Reeder my benefit of doubt. They claim that John and Brandt tried to file for ownership over the name Kyuss. If that is the case I have to send some negativity towards John and Brandt because of how I feel about intellectual property. Again, why didn’t the originators of the name Kyuss, at Wizards of the Coast ever sue anyone when Kyuss the band gained their popularity in the early and mid-90’s? This goes back into what I said previously that perhaps some people in this world view things differently, what a surprise right?

Please come back for part 2 if you are interested in hearing an alternative view point that perhaps contrast what I’ve said here. 
Thank you for reading! 

Music Review: Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine

Ampersand DailyMusic

I have decided to start doing reviews of different types of media that inspire my philosophical side to talk about the world and attempt to provide trains of thought that could be taken and turned into solutions by the doers in our society. For my first album, I could think of no better album than the emotionally ravishing Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails. This album takes the listener on a chaotic yet very directly ordered and disciplined soundtrack. There is a very deliberate and obvious message of intensity when it comes to all of Nine Inch Nails albums, and this album is no different.

Produced in 1989, early on in Nine Inch Nails history, there is some sounds produced by this album which can give it a dated feel, however, for me, the date something was produced is far less important than the execution of the instruments and mediums being used to create the music I am hearing. If anything, it makes me feel like I’m getting ready to watch the rated R version of Back to the Future at times, which gives me a great big evil smile to think about.

I will provide the track name, number, length, and a link to the lyrics for each song followed by my review of each song. My favorite site for looking up song lyrics is http://www.songmeanings.net/ so if possible I will use their site almost exclusively. Also, I recommend using Spotify to listen to these songs as you read through the review. https://www.spotify.com/us/for-music/ If you do not want to use Spotify visit YouTube and look for the songs on there. http://www.youtube.com/

One last note, I realize my interpretations are not going to match that of the creators or of every body out there, hell maybe not anyone out there. But that’s not what this is all about. I am doing this because I love art and inspiration and blogging. Not to insult anyone or ruin anybody’s day out there so please, if you feel I have insulted you in any way through my interpretations please let me know as kindly as you can conceive how I might change the way I’m looking at a song or film or even just a piece of art work. This is about being open and communicating well with others in a positive manner. Not personal agenda’s.

I realize that often lyrics listen in the albums inserts and album art are sometimes different from what is actually presented on the song itself. I strongly recommend reviewing the lyrics on Song Meanings and attempting to edit where necessary. 

Album cover.
Album cover.

http://www.nin.com

(Please visit the bands site if you enjoyed this album and show some support!)

The album begins….

1. Head Like a Hole 4:59 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/2508/  <<<Lyrics

The intro reminds me of how it felt to be a young boy, excited that my friends were coming over to rough house and run around in the woods with sling shots and paintball guns. You could almost say it’s as if it transports me to the Island where the boys from Lord of the Flies were stranded and I’ve become overwhelmed by my immaturity and am acting out on my youthful animal instincts. The electric drum rhythm, the sporadic kit drums, and the childish voices ringing out in the background forming into a coherent beat and rhythm, just then, Trent Reznor begins to sing.

The lyrics to this song give me the feeling that Trent is speaking out against greed and corruption that comes with the quest to control your own life and others through wealth and power. I feel he takes an honest approach because if I’m honest, I know how greedy I am, while it is not on the same level as Trent Reznor is speaking out against, I believe everyone can learn from this song, rich or poor. This song helps me realize that both rich and poor are just human beings, that each have certain qualities about them that may be different, yet others which make them quite similar.

Depending on your perspective this song is going to mean different things at first, but I find with most artistic presentations, if you spend enough time pondering the messages involved, you can learn to see things from different perspectives and how those persuasions affect your life .  While this song certainly does pull any punches, that is exactly what makes this song so powerful and important to the over all album. It’s as if in one hand those who lust for wealth can say “you can’t take it from me” while in the other those who live in a more giving way can shout “I’d rather die than give you control” and vic-a-versa and mean completely different things, yet share in the idea of being free from one another.

I feel that the over all message for me by the end of the song is that we all have strengths and weaknesses, not all of us can be billionaires, but we can be very wealthy when it comes to other things in life that have nothing to do with money. This song can be either a blue-collar shout down at the rich and wealthy or the wealthy looking down upon what they believe to be their flock. The dichotomy that comes to mind is what makes this song so appealing to me, subjectively of course, being somewhat of a free-thinker I tend to look at things from both sides of any argument, being less well off than others, I tend to lean towards the poor man’s arguments, but see things from those more fortunate perspective at times as well. Keep an open mind, Head like a Hole.

2. Terrible Lie 4:38 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/2523/ <<<<Lyrics

Track number two begins with a strong industrial beat banging, clicking, clanking, and grinding. The drummer lays down a simple, very direct, and loud pattern for Trent to wrap his lyrics around. In the midst of all that, what sounds like a distorted keyboard chimes in with an interesting pattern of notes that help glue it all together.  The questions being asked of God remind me of a believer at the end of his belief in God. The anger and the shame that comes with realizing that perhaps everything you were taught as a child by those who were supposed to be honest with you and look out for you simply were not true comes out in this song very obviously.

The death throws of a mans faith can lead to anger and frustration that can leave a one traumatized. This song in particular has served for me as a means of therapy. Knowing that I wasn’t the only man to feel this way made me feel less alone and afraid. Especially right after realizing I no longer believed in God and feeling totally lost and depraved, realizing my fellow human beings have come to realize this and still were able to go on and create a nice life for themselves gave me great hope. However, I have to admit this song can make me sad at times thinking about how religion in general has poisoned the hearts and minds of millions of people on the planet into believing that it’s worth going around the world and murdering others for not believing the same things.

I feel at the time this was written, Trent was in the “Death Throws” stage of letting go of his faith and losing his religion. Still referring to God as if it still existed, throwing his anger at religion, yet acknowledging the existence of a higher power. If I could talk to Trent about this perhaps I would ask him if he still believes in God first and then point out that some of the lyrics in this song are “I need SOMEONE to hold on to.” Perhaps in this song this was meant to mock those dependent on others are weaker than those who separate from the herd, but I believe having someone to hold on to, through love, respect, and open-minded interaction is a wonderful thing! Humanist, this song is a hidden gem when it comes to your philosophy, one I can respect on many levels.

3. Down in It 3:46 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3495/ <<<<Lyrics

The track opens with what sounds to me like a dance party club scene bass sequence. It feels out-of-place exiting the previous track, but aggressively catchy enough to blend in and take the listener into a new realm of musical play. The choppy sound effects in the back ground steps up the tempo, followed by a flowing effect leading into Trent’s lyrics, which sound less like singing and more like an expressive form of speech. The drumming remains consistent, simple, yet unique.

This song addresses an important issue that is still and more than likely forever will be a side effect of waking up to certain realities that are unavoidable once you reach a certain age of enlightenment. For those who choose to see, they will experience a sense of higher moral ground than others. This is a cycle of behavior that Trent seems to be addressing perhaps as a warning to others to never think of yourself superior to your peers. We like to think because we know something unique about the world that some how it puts us above others when in fact, doing so will only reflect how similar to those you oppose you really are.

For me, growing up with the internet, instant access to information that was previously unattainable by most, this lead me to a superiority complex for a few years where everyone else was a sheep and I and a few others had a one up on everyone else. What arrogance I displayed because I came to realize that everything I know is just a fraction of a fraction of what’s out there and I am NOBODY to judge others for knowing or not knowing anything. The more you try to separate yourself from the others, the more you stay the same as them. Perhaps this song is meant to inspire a different way of looking at the world.

4. Sanctified 4:58 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3496/ <<<<<Lyrics

The drum effects begin with a simple rhythm and beat, the space sound effects draw you in to a bass riff that flows into the lyrics. The tension builds quickly as Trent ask several questions that perhaps most people will ask themselves when they are infatuated with another or perhaps in a different way addicted to a drug. This song is telling the story of an individual who will do anything to please their infatuation or perhaps their addiction. Their entire life revolves around their next encounter with the object of their obsession.  How far will one go in order to satisfy and feel justified in what they are doing, even if it’s hurting them in the long run?

Considering relationships, we’ve all seen what happens when someone becomes too involved with someone who simply isn’t the right person for them. People will do almost anything to feel loved, even pretend someone loves them even if they obviously do not. When it comes to drugs, an individual addicted will come up with any reason what so ever to get their next fix, even if it makes no logical sense. To that person however, it is a 100% legitimate excuse, whatever it may be.  Often we feel we are justified in our actions when in reality we really aren’t. The evidence of this comes from the fruit of the behavior. Things keep getting worse, yet we sometimes choose to lie to ourselves and continue down that path.

Another way I look at all of this is that perhaps we need those lies in a strange and perhaps grotesque way. Perhaps these low points and flaws about us is exactly what helps us grow into a more complete human being. At the end of the day not one of us is perfect so looking in the mirror and hopefully seeing our flaws leads us to a better understanding of what life is really all about. Maybe this means we really are sanctified in making these mistakes, as long as we learn from them and grow.

5. Something I Can Never Have 5:54 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/36302/ <<Lyrics

The ghostly intro features a deep droning noise accompanied by a haunting piano piece. I feel as though I’m entering a dark realm of mystery and intrigue. Trent again uses his words deliberately in a speaking voice, rather than belting out the song’s questions and answers. The lyrics give way to more droning and piano, birds chirping in the background, and the sound of a distant violin is barely audible. Everything about this song begs the listener to listen very closely to all of the little details going on throughout the entire song.

Some things in life are simply not meant to be, yet we hold on to these feelings don’t we? Have you ever been so close to someone, yet, very far apart? What a terrifying notion that you can love someone with all your heart, even change for them, and improve yourself in order to impress them to be with you, but they just won’t have you. I’m not sure there is anything more painful than this situation that almost everyone finds themselves in at one time or another in life. Being rejected despite your endless love and attention can cause us to become obsessive and destructive. We begin to alienate our life in order to prove your love for another who simply will not have you. This song is yet another warning from Trent to the listener. Yes, love is tremendous and glorious, but it can also become something very ugly if we are not careful.

I think this song, at the end of the day, is Trent coming to the realization that there are some things in life you are not meant to have. You do not own anyone and despite how sad it makes you feel, you cannot force things that aren’t meant to be and you cannot force others to change just to suit your needs. No matter how much you’ve changed, no matter how much you think you love someone, and no matter how much time passes by revisiting this will often just remind you how much time you’ve wasted and open up old scars reminding you who you used to be. And in a way, can shed a bright light on the good things you have now. Focus on the good you have now instead of trying to attain something you can’t have.

6. Kinda I Want To 4:33 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/38639/ <<<Lyrics

Grinding into this track you’re greeted abruptly with a trip hop track and an aggressive vocal effort from Trent Reznor. Exploring again the realm of addiction, infatuation, obsession, and other flaws in humanity that have to be experienced first hand to understand. Having been through my own problems, I have to admit this song nails that feeling right on the head. The music is devious, the lyrics are aggressive, the meanings of the words cannot be mistaken. It’s that selfish feeling inside that causes you to lie to your best friends face and do exactly the opposite of what everyone is telling you to do just because you want to. Forget about modesty this song seems to celebrate that feelings of freedom of exploring your desires to their fullest. Or does it?

” I’m not sure of what I should do. When every thought I have is of you. All of my excuses turn to lies. Maybe God will cover up his eyes. Why does it have to be this way, why does it have to be? Kinda I want to, maybe just for tonight we can pretend it’s alright. What’s the price I pay? I don’t care what they say, I want to. I want to, I’ll take my chance tonight.”

Reading those words only makes me realize just how selfish we can become over such minuscule events in our lives that do nothing but agitate those around us and cause them grief and perhaps even further into pain and depression. Perhaps part of this song celebrates the idea of letting go of your selfish desires and simply existing in peace with those around you. Letting go of that which anchor’s you and your peers and turning a bad situation into a good thing. In fact, this song puts this awful situation so bluntly that I cannot help but look past the arrogance that produced it and see a young man getting over his troubles and delusions to be able to produce such an amazing song. Top notch song.

7. Sin 4:06 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/37350/<<<<Lyrics

The sound effects that greet you here are other worldly echoing, repeating, spacious, and whistling things. Perhaps a voice saying “Jump” repeatedly with a monotone bass pattern leading into a driving tune with immediate and growling lyrics. Obviously someone is feels strongly about something so let’s move on to the meat of this very robust song.

Have you ever had a relationship with where ideologies collide? The frustration that comes with someone not understanding your point of view is tremendous and affects anyone who has a mind of their own to use. Throw love in the mix and it’s a recipe for drama on epic proportions. It starts innocently enough and then one day you are looked down upon or even looked up to by your significant other as something you really aren’t. This causes you to try to be more like yourself which in turn could repulse the skeptic or disappoint the admirer. It’s like you have to live a lie in order for some people to accept you for who you are. I believe the point of this song is to express the anger and frustration that awaits anyone who attempts to live this lie.

There is a heavy emphasis on punishment, morality, and anger in this track. It is carried by an amazing soundtrack which finds different nooks and crannies and gives me a sense of chaos. The chaos you will feel if you choose to share your life with someone who just does not understand you. One day you feel you can handle it and in the very next moment the eyes of the person you are sharing your life with will meet yours and you realize that you will have to give up on all of your principles and morals just to satisfy them. The title of this song suggests one sin begets another and leads to yet another. How long will you let this go before you realize you are the sinner?

8.That’s What I Get 4:30 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/38642/ <<<<Lyrics

This song to me represents everything that’s great about this album yet it also feels like the hidden gem of the entire package.  It is not the most complex when it comes to  lyrics and story being told, however, the classic love/tragedy/triumph story has never been told so uniquely. It begins with a driving theme, mid range bass track and the clanking twangy sounds as if an array of metal wires are being plucked. Just on que, a mixture of delicate and soft synthesizers with a consistent deep bass pattern fill the background which are accompanied by words which everyone who’s ever had their heartbroken have spoken to themselves since the beginning of time.

The crashing noises and zipping sounds flow into the driving bass theme from the beginning and we get a singing bridge with excellent musical accompaniment that then set’s the stage for this songs brilliant ending. The snap of a snare drum signals my favorite part of the song.

“That’s what I get” becomes more than the name of a song, or a what you tell yourself when you are sad. It becomes empowerment as you hear Trent accepting his mistake and realizing he has to move on from the pain he caused himself. You can hear the inspiration of a new life in the lively drumming pattern and synth pumping out an inspirational tune over the background of everything else you’ve already heard. What I love about this song is that the idea has been done before, but not like this. I think anyone can relate to this song if they have a mind to hear the story being told. “That’s what I get” becomes a lesson learned. In the end you get a the classic story, but accompanied by music you’ve never heard before. I can’t help but appreciate what Trent was going for in this track.

9.The Only Time 4:47 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/38639/ <<<<Lyrics

From the onset we stagger into this song now knowing what’s about to hit us. Just some lyrics and a catchy bass line, but the lyrics lead me to feel drunk, tipsy, and disoriented with the bass line chopping up his words. The feeling I get is similar to that rush of adrenaline you get when you’ve made a fool of yourself in public after having one to many drinks. All the eyes staring at you only embolden your resolve to do whatever you want. You go through new acquaintances as quickly as you go through the drinks until finally you see that woman smiling wildly at you and you stumble over to her. You share a drunken conversation that makes no sense to anyone but you and her. Both of you realize what you’re about to do to each other is wrong but also know you’re going to do it anyways. Off you go out the door stumbling into her car as she takes you on a wild ride back to her apartment where dirty little secrets are going to be made between you two.

This song goes even deeper into the human experience. Why is it that we pick our scabs, say things we shouldn’t, or stay friends with people who treat us like crap? Why do we put ourselves through strange and new experiences only to come out the other side a damaged human being? Why on earth would anyone put themselves through something like that? The answer to that is we all do it, the only difference is a matter of degree. Some of us are more sadomasochistic than others, so the harm we bring on ourselves and others might be enjoyable for a time, until you learn that it’s not what you needed from life. When you begin to question whether or not you’ve made a mistake, it’s usually too late to do anything but let go and walk away. What pops out to me is how this can relate to every single one of us. An ultra-conservative Christian might think using the lords name in vain is as naughty as an atheist college student thinks it is to cheat on their significant other. Life is full of those experiences where reality pushes us beyond our normal routine and causes us to seek out new experiences. Sometimes this leads to unfortunate tragedy yet other times a pleasant surprise awaits. Either way, it’s how we live our lives, no matter where you’re basing your moral standards.

The title of the song suggests that being pushed outside our comfort zone and experiencing a new thing in life is the only time he ever feels alive. I think this is true for everyone though as far as the degree to which one could define something being a “new” experience. But perhaps the opposite is true as well. Perhaps the behaviors we form over time lead us to a comfortable routine for a very good reason. While there is nothing wrong with experiencing new things in life, sometimes the emotional strain that comes with it can truly hinder one’s ability to be productive and happy with life. I think you reach a point in life where you know what you want and what you like to do enough to realize whether or not you will enjoy something enough to take it on. This is a sign of maturity for a lot of people, myself included, knowing a person is somewhat set in their ways shows me that they stand on certain principles and moral ideas that would be extremely difficult to change in them. I see the good in this as well as the flaw because after all, we would never have gotten set in those behaviors without at first trying them to begin with. Life is as much about taking risk as it is maintaining a level of consistency. Both have their place in life.

10. Ringfinger 5:40 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/38647/ <<<Lyrics

The closing title for this album will leave the listener longing for more. This song greets you with a synthesized melody and steady kick drum beat. Trent Reznors voice joins momentarily and the point of the song becomes clear almost immediately. There is no hidden meaning in this song and that’s its strength. Everything about this song is out in the open and so are the lyrics. This songs lyrics and music seem to be at odds with one another until you really think about the over all message. The beginning remains mostly as described but adds another layer of synth music and an additional bass line eventually leading to a high-pitched guitar riff. You will notice that not one part of this song is like the others as it moves along. More and more layers begin to add up as the music get’s more intense. Eventually, the lyrics take on a new meaning once the music catches up to the over all theme of the song which I will interpret in the next paragraph.

We have many personal relationships with people and impersonal relationships with various technologies, addictions, and events in our life that sometimes wear us thin. The feelings mount in this part of the song as it becomes obvious that no one in their right mind should take this sort of abuse sitting down. When you make a commitment to something, you go all the way, absolutely, but should you start to feel worn out it is important to take a break from those things. Commitments shouldn’t be life sentences of pain, anguish, and mental torture. Once the song hits it’s stride it gives me the feeling that Trent Reznor wanted to communicate his frustrations about his commitments in life but realized that’s part of what makes life so challenging and rewarding. He didn’t produce this album by sitting on his hands and complaining about how sore he was, how tired he got on long nights, or by letting go of his commitments. As frustrating as those commitments can get, getting through them is part of what it takes to do something great with your life.

However, I think there is a darker side to point out and that is when it comes to people and relationships and marriage, commitment takes on a whole new level of importance. Putting a ring on someone’s finger and promising that person that their life is just as, if not, more important than your own is nothing to take lightly. What happens all the time in the USA with marriages? Need I remind you how often marriages end in divorce? Is there any reason to wonder why in a society that’s all about instant gratification how a marriage could end up with one of the participants feeling used and abused by the other? This song present this problem in bold living color for the listener to soak in as yet another warning from this amazing album. Do not make promises you know you cannot keep.

In Conclusion….

This album and Nine Inch Nails in general is not going to be for everyone. Trent Reznor has always been about trying new things with music and has always had an aggressive nature when presenting his crafts to the world. I think the thing people misunderstand most about the aggressive nature in some music is the attempt to present and wonder about things that society at large and popular culture normally does not give much attention to. Exploring why someone is being bullied and the emotional processes that come with it for example is something many may want to avoid facing when trying to enjoy music, but for me, it only enhances the experience. The idea that music should only be happy and go-lucky to me seems unrealistic and misses the point of what art in all of its forms is supposed to be. I can’t help but imagine the benefits society has gained from the small amount of people out there who do enjoy this kind of music and take a little more seriously than just banging your head like a mad man. The people who stopped to actually listen to the story being told in these kinds of songs and who enjoy this kind of music for those reasons are some of the most polite and honest people I’ve ever met. I think it’s because artist like Trent Reznor aren’t afraid to ask the challenging questions and make the controversial points with their art work.

As for this album, obviously it is full of obligatory drama padded by aggressive music which drives the point home. I recommend this album to anyone who enjoys philosophy, politics, and longs for something to challenge their sense of reality. This may even set well with fans of techno and industrial music just for the musical mechanics going on, which spreads across most of Nine Inch Nails library. This just happens to be one of the first efforts from the project so I thought it would be a good place to start with these music reviews. If you’ve never listened to Nine Inch Nails before, please understand that each album is unique from the last one. You may really enjoy this album, but not be so much of a fan of the next. Don’t judge everything you think about Nine Inch Nails off this one album.

The Best In the Universe: Unveiling the Big Dirty Secret

TheBest

I realize that most people would prefer me to simply not open my mouth nor my mind to that which should not be. Realizing this, however, only strengthens my resolve to do so. It’s an old adage that when you need something most is when others are trying to take it from you. In this case, I feel others would silence me if not for their basic humanity, a humanity which I realize I am taking advantage of. I am glad there is this competition to be the nicest person with the most friends and the most money and success in life because it allows me to introduce my grains of truth into the collective consciousness of my fellow human beings without much fear of physical retaliation. Though, judging by the many amounts of criticism I receive for saying what I say, I notice that much of it has nothing to do with my words, but rather a few choice ideas I have that challenge their beliefs. This brings me great concern because in my life, when I have been victim of violence or even observed violence, it arose from ignorance and frustration on the offenders part by not being able to put more than a few words together to have an argument in a civilized manner. Lashing out in a childish rage towards he or she who said something so offensive, so perverse, so naughty that they just had to physically harm them. For myself, I myself will not take physical confrontation lightly, though I am the first to turn the other cheek, I also will not hesitate in defending myself, but for me, it is a thousand times more satisfying to have a black eye and a smart ass smile on my face than it is to lower myself to physical violence. This is merely on a personal level however, the far greater threat is that this violence also manifest in the halls of government and big business. Ignoring this fact will lead to the demise of our species, I know I am beginning sound like a know-it-all, however, I am convinced that no one can sway my opinion on these issues without first holding me and my entire family hostage.

 

This article is about taking off the proverbial gloves and getting you to think about me what you should be thinking about yourself. You might think, “this guys full of it!” but am I really? Or am I saying what you’ve wanted to say your whole life but simply could not muster the courage to do so? When you do finally break out of that trance and have the trained eyes of fear all around you staring back at you with confused anger and hatred  let me know how you feel then and let me know if you think it’s me who’s full of it or all of those confused dumbfounded dip-shits who would have you hanged if only they could get away with it.

 

“You’re just a nut-job conspiracy theorist, no one will listen to you!” Obviously no one will, since you haven’t and you obviously don’t care because you had to tell me how crazy I am right? This very thought has ran across my mind so many times I cannot even begin to imagine the number. However, striking a nerve with you is the least of my concerns, yet paramount in solving the worlds problems. What’s with that fear anyways, are you afraid that perhaps not all is well in the world? Are you worried that your little delusions could come crumbling down all around you? Don’t be afraid my friend, for now you will see what others can not see. This world, built on the backs of bruised and bloodied corpses, lies, and money will not deceive you any longer. That pain you feel is merely fear leaving your body and mind. All of your sins will only make you stronger as you transcend the walls that you have built around you to protect you from this old rocks mean and twisted ways. Now you will know the bliss that lives here. Now you will know the harmony that exist when you don’t have to ask permission for every little thing.  Now you will know what choice means, now you will know what freedom means, now and only now will you know what it means to be alive for no longer will you play the deer in headlights that bullies want you to be.

 

I ask you to rise, not for me, definitely not for anyone else, but for yourself and by yourself. Bathe in the glory that is your life and break free from any chains that bind you to suffering. Stop pushing it away my friend, stop dancing around the bush, and stop allowing the violence around you by simply not involving yourself in it. Do not walk away from the fear, but face the damn thing in the hairy eye-ball and transcend it. Be what you were born to be, not an American, not a European, not an African, and certainly not a “citizen of the world”. But an ugly, bold-faced, defiant, strong, and passionate living entity with powers beyond their comprehension. You should feel a fire in your belly as you rise from the ashes of your former slave self. Only now will you understand what it means to love, have compassion, and wish well upon others around you.

 

You are not part of any collective, you are not a “citizen of the world” you are not bound to the boarders of your country. You are the single best human being in the universe. No one ever told you that because they were never told that. This FACT was hidden from you on purpose because of jealousy, anger, frustration, and fear. Any time it becomes self-evident to you, your training kicks in. Your ego tells you to sit back down, get back behind those walls, shut up, and keep your eyes down. You are told that you can find happiness in slavery, so just accept what all the monolithic organizations tell you to think. I am here to persuade you to otherwise. I am here to tell you that you, not me, or anyone else is the best in the world, nay, the universe. But I will also warn you that this does not grant you the ability to bring harm on others. This does only one thing for you and it’s an important thing. You will shine as a beacon of hope to those around you. Hope that humanity is more than grunts, blood, sweat, and tears. You will be the evidence that humanity is something much stronger than mere words on paper or belief. You are the eyes, ears, and voice of greatness. The big dirty secret in this world, is that people are good. Not only good, but the ultimate example of greatness in the Universe. Come all challengers to this idea and watch them fall one by one. Yes, I believe this and in you. Who am I for you to care? Someone who realized this before you did, push aside my arrogance and prove me wrong if you dare but be prepared for the depths and horror that is humanity chained to a concrete floor begging for death.

There are no laws that can hold you down nor any religion that can define you. Only ideas based in reality and self evident truth’s that you choose to live by. Being afraid to embrace this is a flaw you must transcend so allow me to indulge you to do just that. Let’s take this to the ultimate level of morality. I am telling you are free to do what ever you see fit with your life. The most common excuse I hear to not live in a world free of government or religion is “we can’t just let murderers run free!” Well, I have to laugh in the face of such an obscene suggestion because not only do we allow them to run amok, they are in charge. Not only are they in charge, but they realized what I’m trying to teach you long ago and are taking advantage of your ignorance and poisoning you with apathy. Not everyone is a murderer and most people realize that the only reason we can be friends with one another is that we want each other to be alive, we know that it is better to get along with each other because it benefits us to have support through hard times and to succeed professionally, in a family, or among friends. You do not need a law to make you realize this. The excuse that murderers would just get away with it and criminals would take over is very silly considering the amount of crime and murder that we are currently supposed to bow down to in the form of government and the church. This is a moral decision to stand up to these bullies and transcend the fear you have of letting go of their protection racket.

I’m going to ask you to do just a little research for yourself and look up the term “Democide”. It is a statistic which represents the amount of deaths caused directly or indirectly by governments around the world. After you see the numbers for yourself, please ask yourself why violence exist. Why does murder happen? Is it just a flaw in human nature? I believe it is a flaw but ultimately a flaw created by the idea that just a few people could rule over and “run” entire populations of people in imaginary boarders created by bankers, politicians, and mercenaries. Denying the conspiracy at this point to me is a waste of time. Many would have you believe that there is no such thing as a conspiracy at all, but I have to beg the question, if there is no such thing as a conspiracy then why has humanity chosen to define it’s meaning? Why is it that it is so difficult for many to accept the fact that people come together and plot out destruction and plans to dominate others. It’s called being greedy folks and it is not some mystical idea that you should fear. It is what enslaves humanity though. It is what keeps people in fear and in their little compartmentalized box. It is what makes straight people different from gay people, black people different from white people, Americans different from Mexicans, and so on and so forth. I hear talk about equality from so many people but these same people when then turn right around and claim some kind of moral high ground and the ability to use force on others who might not agree with them on certain issues. Many times, they won’t even do it themselves but would rather pay taxes and hire men with guns to lock people in a cage.

There is only one remedy for this situation that doesn’t lead to humanities extinction. It is the hope that many of you out there will in your billions of expressions and individual ways will realize who and what they are. If you decide you are just a hopeless murderer then by all rights, go join your brethren in the halls of government and big business. Go ahead and disappoint yourself and everyone around you by becoming everything wrong with the world. Go forth and die knowing you caused unspeakable pain, death, and suffering with all your good intentions. But if you realize you are above that please don’t hold back. Shine brighter than everyone else around you by being everything you are and more. Grow my friend into a Jedi Knight to inspire others around you to do the same. Join the many who see the worlds problems and want to solve those problems peacefully and without coercion. Humanity no longer needs to steal, kill, and torture itself to reach it’s goals. The only opposition to my idea is that of lies, violence, and more theft. Supporting the old, mean, and violent regimes of the past is no longer a valid opinion, but a tragic example of fear and brain washing. The choice is yours.

The Mirror: Just Look at Yourself

The Mirror

This blog is meant to be a place of positivism and open mindedness. I enjoy bringing an unencumbered and positive messages to anyone who reads from many topics which include technology, politics, social studies, and other areas of interest, however, sometimes I feel it is necessary to reach into the dark side of humanity to discover hidden truth’s about us. This article is about human nature, not anyone in particular. Also, realizing I am not being original or very clever in pointing out what I consider to be flaws in humanity, I am fully aware of my short comings and my negativity is mostly my own reflections of my short comings being projected out onto the reader. I am not a professional practitioner of psychology or sociology so please do not think I believe my words are solution for every last person, please also do not imagine me to being coy with my words in this article.

As we descend into this challenging article, I want to recognize old and wise words which say that it is our flaws which make us who we are the most as we strive to be a more perfect human being. This is not an attempt to wish failure upon anyone but rather an attempt to get my reader to look deeply into themselves at some things that perhaps are not comfortable dealing with. Speaking for myself, one of my biggest flaws as a person is an inherent inability to handle harsh yet constructive criticism. When met with this challenge from another, I recoil in horror to a shyness from which I find it difficult to recover. The first thoughts in my mind when met with this are typically of a very negative nature, not giving he or she the benefit of doubt and imagining the worst possible thing about them. Coming to the point, this flaw of mine is being remedied more and more every time I converse with someone who is challenging me. If not for my willingness to look my situation right in the hairy eye ball and accepting who I am, I would not know what I want to become. I would not realize there are many paths out of this situation. Which brings me to what I consider one of the most detestable and tragic flaws of humanity on a collected scale. The unwillingness to admit imperfection.

In earlier articles I wrote of bullies and how I deal with them. Offering solutions for how to deal with a bully is one thing, but now I have to turn the tables on the idea and consider the possibility of being a bully of sorts myself. Not only myself but others who may feel they have been treated unfairly by a bully in their lives for it is well known that the meanest of bullies get that way from being bullied themselves and could not find it within themselves to face their flaws and stand up for who and what they are. The real tragedy of this is that the solution eluded them because of an unwillingness to simply admit to their flaws. Every human being has limits, which are yours? What an important yet poignant question to have to ask yourself. However poignant it may be, it is akin to setting a broken bone or pulling a rotted tooth. The pain is extreme, yet must be done in order to bring healing into the realm of possibility. This to me appears to be a fact as solid as the ground we walk upon, but again, I am no professional.

Are we born to live with this propensity? Does everyone suffer this as consequence of living and breathing? Or do we learn it through systematic psychological abuse through social interactions and entertainment designed to lower our sense of self? Are we as a species doomed to live in perpetuity with this unwillingness to look directly into the mirror and see our flaws? How deep does the matter go? Is it something humans are just naturally adherent to or do we learn it as I posed before? Difficult questions demanding lengthy and in depth answers and I shall attempt to discover some satisfactory answers as this article continues. In the spirit of this article and keeping consistent with the message of these words, I shall look deep into this rabbit hole and attempt to bring out the treasure at the bottom. In order to address this further I want to take a look at society as a collective hive mind for a while and share my feelings about our world, harsh as those feelings may be, please try to read between the lines.

I am well aware a great many of you out there will not read these words, you had already moved on before even finishing the first paragraph for a various reasons and that to me is perfectly fine. However, I struggle to find a reason other than mere avoidance of the truth for why you wouldn’t be interested in this topic. When breaching this topic with others around me I hear many reasons, I’m too busy, I have kids to worry about, I’m too tired, etc, etc. While everyone has a right to avoid this, I urge you to imagine how much less busy, tired, and worried you would be if you discovered how much happier you would be accepting yourself for who you are.  There are enough people out there who fit this description for it to be safe for me to put them in a group. I realize I am taking great liberty in labeling here, for which I will make no apology because I too fit into this group at times as I’ve described my flaws and am willing to admit my laziness in dealing with them at times. Coming to point, put in mind the amount of people who surround you at this very moment who not only fit into this group, but give meaning to it’s very existence.

I am describing a mass scale delusion of vanity and perfection, the likes of which bring about unspeakable tragedy. The bigger question to me then is of scale. Are the leaders of our communities, cities, counties, states, and nations members of this group as well? I would bet on it which is the precise reason of breaching this subject in the first place. This brings us to the incredible difficulty of solution since it is on an individual basis remedy is found, how is society to ever over come? The prospect of perpetuity of this egocentric attitude is more than alarming, it is nightmarish in it’s complexity. It’s remedy eludes me at every turn and burns a hole in my heart and mind when I discover just how few of us living are even willing to ask a single solitary question of ourselves, much less on the larger scale of society. I believe it is that which we dare not speak or think of which leads to war and many other tragic events from which we are further scarred and damaged.

I see this whole process culminating in the quest in some men and women’s hearts to force their views on others through government regulation and force. Why is it that in the quest for peace, we lose focus of what that means and give a monopoly of power and force to just a few among us to force others to behave the way we would see fit? We live in a world where in one situation it is totally wrong to force anyone to do anything yet, if you create a law out of that idea, it is perfectly fine and accepted when people are beaten, tortured, jailed, and sometimes murdered for behaving even a little bit outside the realm of The Law. To me, there is nothing more ugly than the fact that while government does provide some legitimate services, the price for those services is human life. The price is losing your humanity and honesty because you would rather pay your taxes and have bully cops order people around, yet leave you alone when it’s your turn to be confronted by this ugly brute of a system. It’s not right and this needs to change if humanity is to survive and reach into the universe. If it does not change, I am afraid we will be stuck on this old rock for good and die with it as a species. We would never make it among the stars in our current situation and mind set. We would quickly find something to make us strive for even more power and domination over others. We are bullies, each and every one of us and to those few out there who I know for sure are not, I thank you for giving me hope that perhaps one day, on this tiny little rock we call home, our species will know peace amongst one another. Underneath all that bigotry, intolerance, racism, and hatred is a heart of gold. The question is, what does it take to crack off the ugly crust which covers it?

Scott D. Vogler

Space & Weapons

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Recently the news has been full of stories about drones and how they will impact the world. While I feel this topic is very important, there is another topic with even more significance to human development. The topic of which I speak is of course “space based weaponry”. While the official line is that there are treaties preventing nuclear warheads in space, there are other weapons which we could potentially see in our earth’s orbit. Much of what I will cover is in theory, but some of it has been tested before. As we see it now, it is not a clear case of whether or not they are up there now, but knowing that military’s around the world have and are testing platforms in our orbit.

As a futurist, I understand that technology will inevitably come out, the reason I like to talk so much about this is because I hope to be a voice of reason and a reminder about what humanity has done with powerful technology in the past. I would like to avoid such mistakes going forward so I hope my words inspire cooler heads to prevail. I do not want to make these weapons “cool” or “awesome” but rather discuss how this would impact the world politically. Hopefully a lot of you out there feel the same as I do because I would rather scientist focus on other more important technologies involving space travel, mining, and defensive measures against space’s many dangers.

To start, I’m going to go over what I consider to be smaller weapons systems designed to protect a satellite from enemies or destroy space based targets, or more bluntly put, anti-satellite weapons. The Soviet Union designed and created a satellite named Almaz starting in the early 1960’s. This lead to an integration in another program named Salyut programme. These 3 satellites, named Salyut were also referred to as OPS 1, 2, and 3. These were reconnaissance drones in orbit armed with a self lubricating, 23mm Nudelman rapid-fire cannon. These were mounted onto the satellite for defensive and offensive purposes. These destructive tools had a maximum rate of fire of around 850 rounds per minute and shot 23x115mm caliber rounds with a muzzle velocity of 690 m/s. That’s some serious fire-power. A fourth OPS satellite, OPS-4, would have also been equipped with Shchit-2, which was reported to have a duo of projectile systems. Perhaps rockets were to be employed on this project? Supposedly there are no photo’s of this weapon’s system so I cannot confirm its existence in actual orbit. It is believed it was never deployed. The entire Almaz program did not become all it was meant to become, but the ideas have been tested as far back as the 1960’s.

More advanced space-to-space weapons were also tested by the Soviets. In the late 1980’s, the Soviets were set to launch the Polyus spacecraft into orbit. The Polyus, also known as Skif-DM, was equipped with a megawatt carbon dioxide laser system designed to be an anti-satellite system. Carbon Dioxide Lasers were invented by Kumar Patel, from India, in 1964. Mr. Patel worked for Bell Labs at the time of this invention. Just a few short years later it found itself being launched into orbit attached to a space ship. This vessel however did not make it into orbit as a faulty guidance computer failed as the ship separated from the rocket. It was meant to spin 180 degrees and launch itself into orbit, instead, it did a 360 degree turn and burned up in the atmosphere. This was during the height of The Space Race, if there are any remnants of that same “race” going on today, I’m sure we’ll find out just how far this has all come.

(Source) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_weapon#Space-to-space_weapons

Next, I’ll be providing details on another type of space based weapons technology which emerged from the Space Race and Cold War. Earth-to-space weapons systems were developed for a number of reasons, but I feel there is one that stands out. If you’ve ever lived in the country side like myself, you have probably heard of Wild Life population control, where certain hunters are granted permission to hunt and kill certain over populated animals in the local eco-system. I know that sounds way off topic, but I think it perfectly describes The Kessler Syndrome.

The Kessler Syndrome, also called the Kessler Effect, collisional cascading, or ablation cascade, was proposed by a NASA scientist named Donald J. Kessler in 1978. Kessler Syndrome is an event in which the density of objects in low-Earth orbit is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade – each collision generating debris which increases the likelihood of further collisions. This could lead to rendering exploration and the use of satellites unfeasible for a very long time.  Earth to Space weapons systems were designed to destroy objects in low-orbit in order to thin out the possibility of these kinds of collisions. In my view, this is a hugely important area of research and love the idea of perfecting satellite technology and use. Much like hunters thinning out the herd, this system is designed to maintain a healthier low-earth orbit environment as newer and better satellites are developed.

(Source) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kessler_syndrome

Of course this technology is also in the hands of the military, which for obvious reasons have explored the use of inter-continental ballistics, Anti-Satellite weapons, and Kinetic Kill systems. The most famous example of this was proposed by President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983. The Strategic Defense Initiative included a research program dedicated to developing anti-ICBMs defensive systems. These systems would be equipped with kinetic kill, laser, and other ballistic weapons systems and was named Star Wars by those who proposed and funded the program. There were also Space-to-Air satellites designed to employ a high-powered laser to destroy an ICBM launched towards American soil. The entire idea behind this project was to create a defensive space based weapons platform to defend from nuclear missiles launched from other countries.

Another type of space based weapons platform would be called Space-to-Earth weaponry. Orbital bombardment is any attack from space on a ground based target on a planet’s surface. It is believed that there are no such weapons systems in existence, however, this idea is not a result of the latest science fiction movie, there are well-known examples of governments since World War 2, straight through the Cold War, seeking and developing technologies on this level. At this point I want to remind you about why I felt the need to write this article. While I support space based anything, I believe the correct motivations need to be present before launching anything into space involving the use of a weapon. A weapons system with global coverage is not only dangerous, but would fundamentally change life on earth. Not to mention, very expensive, I believe our efforts would be much better put to use in developing technologies to clean our atmosphere, capture incoming asteroids, creating protection from Solar Activity, and exploration.

Though it is believed there are no such systems, I feel it’s important to note that it is known that the National Socialist NAZI party proposed an idea for a so-called “Sun Gun”. Also the Soviets deployed a what they called a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System in 1968 to 1983. Eventually, the Soviets successfully launched a working unit into orbit, but were prohibited by the Outer Space Treaty to place live warheads in space. Later, another Outer Space Treaty was put forth which prohibited the deployment of any system which could use a weapon of mass destruction in a partial orbit. Conventional warheads are still permissible but are not yet proven to be effective. These rely on large tungsten carbide/uranium cermet rods dropped from orbit and use kinetic energy. These types of war-heads have the nick name “Rods from God”.

(Source) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_weapon#Space-to-Earth_weapons

I wrote this article because I care about the future development of our species. While we enjoy our entertainment, sports programs, and our lives please realize there is another world out there, one where very powerful and very real technologies are being developed and pushed into reality. I don’t often hear very much about these technologies in the news so in an attempt to raise awareness and interest in science and technology I’m writing this article. I suppose if I were to want to ask any question of my readers, I would ask you to think about what you would rather develop just as we begin to reach into the stars. Weapons platforms designed to kill and control human beings or technologies which focus on exploration, transportation, geo-maintenance, and protection? I believe weapons systems can serve a purpose in space, however, I believe it should remain a defensive measure and never offensive. In fact, I would like to see anti-aggression measures put into practical account with technologies based around weaponry. These technologies would make it impossible to use weapons in an aggressive initiation of force. However, once used in a defensive situation, it should be capable of a wide range of capabilities. Namely, the prevention of the Kessler Syndrome.

Scott D. Vogler

Head down, Lights Out, Lock the Door.

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All through history we can find examples of the two types of people I’m going to talk about. For the purposes of this article, there are two types of people, those who bury their head in the sand and those who keep their head on a swivel. In my eyes, it is very tragic that so many choose to stay ignorant. Some people are simply ignorant due to lack of information perhaps because of their living situation. However, I find that people in this situation are not the kind of people I’m trying to refer to here. Ignorance is not bliss to these people, it just so happens that they have not been exposed to certain information. The types of people I’m talking about are those who have been exposed to information, yet, choose to live in a fantasy world.  Like in Plato’s Allegory of The Cave, out of the four prisoners, only one escaped and was willing to leave the cave and the puppet show behind. The others willingly stayed behind and chose to live as a slave and in the fantasy world.

I’m not sure if there is a precise enough word for individuals who live as if they are invulnerable to new information, but there is a popular slang term being used a lot, “sheeple”. I don’t want to delve into ad hominem or name calling, so while it would be easier to just label these kinds of people, I feel it’s more responsible and educational to fully describe them rather than relying on a single blanket word like “sheeple”. In order to do so, I’ll share personal situations from my life to help define these kinds of people without a blanket label. In my life, I have attempted to wake several people up and in doing so have lost friends, family, and relationships along the way. It is frightening to me that some people cannot handle the truth. It reminds me of the story 1984, 2+2=5. People want 2+2 to equal 5 because the delusion is apparently easier to deal with. I have had people literally melt down and cry simply because I challenged their politics, people have literally screamed at me for suggesting they were mistaken, and worst of all have shunned me from their life for pointing out what I believe in.  I always make sure to tell these people, that when or if they decide we don’t have to be enemies over a disagreement, to come talk to me again. So far, not one person has stepped back into my life. I just hope they realize it was they who chose not to be around me anymore, that I miss them greatly, and I am deeply concerned for their well-being after choosing to live the lie. Some people cannot be helped because they do not want to be helped. Keep in mind, this is the majority of people around me. Also, just as a reminder, this has little to do with personal politics. I am not attempting to claim superiority over anyone but I am suggesting that some people need to open up their hearts and minds.

In contrast there are also people who simply cannot stand not knowing. I like to count myself in with this crowd, but it’s not so easy to crowd these kinds of people in either. So again, I’m going to avoid using single terms like “awake” or “enlightened” because of what comes with the seeking of knowledge and new information. This means my truth may contradict another persons truth. This leads to conversation, debate, and argument which gives further definition and substance to ideas. This will also lead to experimentation, which is probably the most important aspect to all of this. Guesses are a start, but no matter how smart, good-looking, or social someone is, a guess is inferior to experimentation. These kinds of people are not afraid of being wrong. To me, it seems like those who are truly seeking knowledge and understanding are happy to learn when they are wrong and enjoy having been corrected. This shows me a great deal more maturity in contrast to those who choose to remain ignorant to the world around them. This doesn’t mean these types of people are superior or better than anyone else, what it does mean though is that they are more willing to broaden their hearts and minds to encompass something greater than themselves.

I feel the need to consistently reiterate the point about one not being “better” than the other. As I have grown and learned more about myself and the world around me, I have come to find that sometimes people are very awake and aware but it will not seem like it at first until you really get to know them. This goes back to being open-minded, patient, compassionate, and kind to others around you. I believe there is a very specific reason why some people keep their head down, yet, have a tremendous amount of knowledge and wisdom. The reason I am referring to is bullying.

Bullying is a large part, in my view, of why people keep their head down and stay out of the conversation. It causes people to avoid confrontation and to fear rejection of their ideas. While I believe there is help for these folks, have a bit of tough love for them. What kind of excuse is that? If that’s what your excuse is I can’t help but imagine that you are less interested in learning and more interested in pushing a certain agenda. While I may be wrong in saying that, there is an old saying, “You can’t help others until you’re able to help yourself.” This, in my opinion, is exactly right, especially in this article. If you have an idea about reality and you share it with others who might have some constructive criticism and you react negatively to it, you are a perfect example of someone who would rather stay ignorant. The point here is keeping your mind open. Perhaps your ideas are sound and beneficial, however, closing off to everyone around you just because they see it a little differently is not helping you or anyone. In fact, this kind of attitude only serves to discredit your ideas if you are unwilling to even listen to a different angle. The danger in behaving this way is that you may begin to feel you are just superior to others, that you know something they do not, therefore, should be able to tell them how to think and feel. The danger here is you becoming authoritarian in your social life. Or perhaps you completely seclude yourself from everyone around you. Either way, this is no way to live in my opinion. I wish I could help you see another way.

I don’t know of any one solution to this dilemma, perhaps some suggestions from my heart will help. You will never convince someone through force or coercion so step number one is to forget about treating people this way. Many many people have experienced being bullied and we’ve all seen the effects of this so straight away, just forget about being a bully. I realize the temptation, however, know the results are not genuine. People will say a lot when under pressure just to fit in. I want real understanding not a belief brought about by some sort of abuse or brainwashing. I think one of the keys to do this is patients. If you have information about something and have experimented with it and know in your heart and mind that it’s true, then you need to stand strong with those ideas. People who disagree with you may or may not have valid points to make, so instead of reacting negatively to this, keep your ears open. You have to set the example in order to convince others, so take it upon yourself to become a very good listener. This avoids bullying in two ways, firstly, by listening to someone else’s ideas, you yourself are less likely to be a bully and in turn, you’re negating reasons for the other person to bully you. If confronted with a bully, do not cower in fear of them, but also, do not react aggressively or violently towards them. Instead, see it for the opportunity it is to improve yourself and perhaps improve them along with you. Results are what you put into any given situation or dilemma. Ignoring reality and blaming others isn’t going to do one solitary bit of good for you or anyone else around you. This is merely a suggestion to everyone to learn how to put aside petty disagreements and work a lot harder towards real solutions that work in the real world.

In closing this article, I just want to point out that I believe humanity is wonderful. I have a very optimistic outlook when I think about the future and it’s because so many wonderful people have taken it upon themselves to live and be who they are. These people inspire me to grow and learn and become a better human being. I have a girlfriend, who for the life of me, would not be with me if I hadn’t chosen the life I’ve chosen to live. She’s not into all of these things like I am, but that does not make her the type of person with her head down, lights out, and door locked. I sometimes try to see the world through her eyes and I have to tell you, it’s amazing to ponder. In the end, it’s not about whether or not she agree’s with me on everything or listens to the same information I listen to. It doesn’t matter if she can’t stand some of the music I love or some of the things I say every day. What matters is, she is who she is and she lives that way every single day. She communicates what she see’s and feel’s with me and it helps me grow into a better person. I only hope I provide the same kind of experience for her in turn because to me, she’s worth every drop of blood I have.  She keeps her head on a swivel and learns something new every single day, things I could really care less about, until she shows me how important it really is. This is what I’m talking about, people from vastly different perspectives can learn, grown, and achieve with one another simply by being open to new ideas and suggestions. That to me, is vastly superior to purposefully living a lie. Not that those people are evil, but they sure are missing out and I for one wish to do something about it.

Thank you for reading! I am more than open to suggestions, criticism, and new ideas. Please comment below and let me know what you think!

Scott D. Vogler

Agorism & Statism: The True Paradigm

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Agorism & Statism: The True Paradigm 

This article is going to be focused on what I feel is true political paradigmatic ideology. We are brought up, typically, in a two-party system depending on which part of the world you live. Where I live, in the United States, it has been the same two parties in charge for a very long time now. The Republicans and the Democrats. This has created a very clear division between people who affiliate themselves with either the left political spectrum, or the right political spectrum.

While I understand the differences between the two parties, what I don’t understand is how the followers of these two parties do not clearly see the poignant similarities both parties share. I believe party patriotism blinds people from the reality of the two-party system. Many even swing like a pendulum between the two parties depending on popular opinion. These people I feel will have a much easier time understanding the points I will attempt to make in this article because they are not so tied down by political favoritism. If you are one of these people, I am asking for your empathy and attention because I believe it is you who will make the biggest difference. Those that do not feel the incredible urge to support only one side of the same coin, I’m talking to you most of all and asking you why you play along? It will be clear why I ask once you’ve read the entire article.

For those who are reading this and are thinking to yourself “get to the point already” I will kindly ask for your patience because this is an incredibly complex issue that must be explored to its fullest extent. I am attempting to break through apathy, blind patriotism, and the arrogance that comes with party politics. For those of you who are still reading and thinking “get to the point already” because you can see where this is going, understand that I realize you already understand the points I’m going to try to make. This article is directed at those who have not yet heard the message.

Now that I’ve clarified a few things, let’s continue on with the article. Again I recognize the political difference between liberals and conservatives. Big-Gov v. Small-Gov, left/right, red/blue. I believe most understand the obvious differences. What I want both sides to realize is that whether you argue for larger or smaller government, both still require certain situations in order to exist. These situations are exactly the same thing and cannot be divided by political rhetoric or opinion. Attempting to wiggle around this will only prolong the inevitable truth. The reason the left and the right are nearly identical is because both parties have shown their abilities and desires to use force and coercion in order to maintain their power.

Please don’t be confused. I am not saying that all liberals and all conservatives are aggressive, violent, and dis-honest people. I just understand the inherent nature of party politics, especially in the mainstream, to be dismissive of anything that goes directly against the party doctrine. I am asking you to question why you support a system that uses force and coercion to maintain its power. One of the most popular answers I receive when asking people this question is, “Yeah, but we have to have a government!” I can’t help but imagine how this stance would crumble if they themselves became a victim of government force or coercion.

Another popular answer is “So few people fall through the cracks, so to get the benefits of government, I’m willing to accept the mistakes they make.” That’s fine and dandy, but would you be willing to say that to someone who’s fallen victim to these so-called mistakes? “I’m sure they’re working hard every day to solve these issues, I have faith in the system.” So much faith that you’ll ignore the reality of prisons being full of non-violent offenders, the reality of warrant-less authority, the reality of using force against peaceful people? When push comes to shove, do you believe they will let you simply step to the side?

It has been estimated by author Harvey Silvergate (who happens to be a libertarian) that the average American commits three felonies a day. While I cannot support that claim with evidence of my own, it does make sense to me given layers upon layers upon layers of laws put in place by both parties.  All of these laws are enacted and enforced through coercive political posturing, violent policing measures, and information gathering. How far are you willing to go in your patriotism of a system which can create a criminal out of anyone?

I’m trying to leave names out of this, I only mentioned Harvey Silvergate, because of the title of his book and to give him credit for presenting the information in his book. I can ask these daring questions of statist all day long and make some of them feel angry or frustrated, but that is not my intention so after all of the questioning, if you are still paying attention that is, I want to extend an invitation to take on an idea that isn’t quite new, but could be new to you. It could be called anything you want it to be called really, since it is simply being who you are and living in reality as a free and independent human being. There is a term becoming popular among certain individuals who call themselves Agorist.

Basically, an Agorist is someone who lives as if there is no government. That is taken in the most extreme of contexts. There are also agorist who believe in government for some things, but they may be agorist towards another area of government. It is the equivalent of being atheist for one God, but theist for another. This to me represents a beautiful part of human nature. Sometimes, no matter who or how many people tell you to behave a certain way, think a certain way, or even speak a certain way, you will not give up your independence. For some people this means, no one can tell them who they can and cannot marry. While another individual might not give up his fire arms. If you stop to think about it, that means most people have something very powerful in common with each other even if it comes from completely different circumstances.

When faced with this reality, my first inclination was to point out that they are completely different situations, that they have no relation to one another, and no similarities can be drawn from one to the other. However, this is false. It is because human beings desire to live free of oppression that I can compare the two social situation. I hope this brings you to understand that all around you are people who are just like you in a strange and complex way, they live in a world where violence is promised if you do not comply with certain people’s rules, yet, despite circumstance, almost everyone I know seems to hold on dearly to who and what they are and will not give in to tyranny against them. I just want you to see that there is nothing to fight over if we all agree that we should be free and actually use that freedom to protect each other from tyranny of any sort.

I do plan on offering some challenges to this ideology however, because I have my own definition for who I am and how I think about the world. I will not give in to these paradigms that express a lot of promise yet in the end, produce the same results. It is a paradox, where in the place that they meet are ideas like war, control, manipulate, lobbying, police, torture, poison, and most importantly power. Agorism to me is a superior state of being, because it means you do not depend on anyone but yourself in whatever regards you see fit. However, there are some challenging questions I have had to ask of myself and I want to explore those as well. So fellow Agorist out there, like you, I am still learning perhaps right along side and behind a lot of you out there, but I am definitely interested in learning more in how to change your life in this manner.

One of the most difficult questions I have is that of practicality. This deeply offends me when somebody tells me that they like my ideas, but they just seem so impractical. It’s easy for me to point to horrible examples from their side of the argument of impracticality and chaos. However, this does nothing to address their question, which is essentially,”What are we offering that’s not government but is better than government?”

The answer to this, as I’ve been able to reach myself thus-far is that it probably still looks and behaves like something called “government” but is entirely different from what we accept today as government. The problem with complete and total Agorism is that people will compromise and work with others to achieve larger goals. If we woke up tomorrow in a zen-anarchist utopia, it would still have groups of people who exist to provide goods and services and who even take on the appearance of authority. The difference is, they will not exist to limit personal liberty, but would instead have to produce a good or service that actually benefited those who choose to use them. This leads to another huge topic that I will not go into now, but please refer to my other articles about Pinnaclism and Transhumanism. Those can be found on the main page for this blog.

I am confused though, what would an agorist society do about those who bring harm to humanity? Would we lock them in a cage? Would we just kill them? Would we bill them into obscurity? Perhaps we can isolate them from society and hold them publicly accountable in some way that absolves the situation so that further peace and prosperity can take place without further interruption from that individual. Now that I am asking these large questions and lazily offering very vague but heartfelt suggestions. I think it’s time for this article to find its way to the end.

This single issue holds so much potential power for you as an individual. Whether or not you chose to be Agorist is far less important than you yourself never behaving in a forceful or aggressive manner to those around you. Do not be a bully just because you think or even know you are right. Forcing others to be something they are not is akin to the inability to put a square peg in a round hole. It is not your fault nor theirs for being born this way so instead of wasting time and energy hurting others, please recognize that you only harm yourself and everyone around you when you behave this way. You know that the only reason you ever get away with it is because others have chosen not to use force and coercion in their lives. You prey on the innocent as if they were just a doormat to your castle. I do not want you to suffer through this delusion any longer so please, I beg you, think about who and what you really are and if what you are is a bully, try to use it wisely enough not to pick on innocent people who never hurt you nor would they hurt you.

 

Thank you for reading. I know I will be writing more about this in the future, especially as others examine my ideas and have objections, recommendations, and questions about it. Please remember to rate, subscribe, share, or otherwise remember this article. Your participation is very much appreciated!

 

Scott D. Vogler

 

Bullies & Self-Defense: Standing up for yourself and others.

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I think everyone has been bullied, even bullies get bullied it seems in this world. Perhaps that’s just poetic justice, but I think there’s a better approach to this situation that doesn’t require being a bully to stop a bully. Inspired by the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” 

I will be speaking largely from experience because I want to leave it up to you to decide if what’s happened to me constitutes as bullying. Also, how I grew into someone who learned how to deal with bullies. Again, this worked for me, but I do not want you to believe I am trying to convince you that what I have to say is a cure-all when it comes to bullying. My WordPress articles are designed to share experiences and ask big questions of my readers in a hope that inspires solution in their lives. Any and all criticism is welcomed and encouraged, my comments section sure could use the hits too!

When I was 10 years old, Phillip, a friend of mine and I were at a little league game catching foul balls and home-runs, much like all the other kids. It was always fun to rough house with my friends and run as fast as we could to be first to get the ball. Simple, childish, blissfully ignorant fun. After catching a few and returning enough of them, they let my friend Phillip keep one of the balls which we then started to throw back and forth. Eventually, the ball rolled into the area the bully of this story was playing with his friend. It’s not important how he looked or how old or what he was wearing or doing, what’s important here is the idea that exist in people’s mind that they can control you with force and coercion. To a large degree this is true, however, the reality is that a peaceful situation is vastly superior to a situation involving violence. The idea of non-aggression for all intensive purposes is the ideal situation to be in. Bullies on the other hand do not seem to catch on to this really simple notion that we should not hit, take, or lie to others around us in order to get what we want.

Moving on with the story, Phillip asked for his ball back and the bully of course said no. My friend said please and the bully got in his face and intimidated him into giving the ball up. I remember this being one of the first times in my life I felt like I was standing up for something good and noble. So I approached the bully and held out my hand to get the ball back for my friend. This must have driven the bully nuts because he clobbered me with the ball over the top of my eyebrow  and then punched me a few times for good measure. I was immediately knocked out but the bully dropped the ball and kicked dirt in my face before walking away. So we got the ball back and I went home where my mother flew off the handle and called the police. Looking back, this is one of those times when I feel the police did a really good job in handling the situation and is part of the silver lining that is statist society. Apologies were in order, no charges were pressed, and my friend had his base-ball.

I look at this story with a bit of shame, because of how differently I would handle the situation now days. At 10 years old it had not occurred to me that there are vastly superior ways to help everyone in the situation get what they want without violence taking place. I should not have been so pretentious with the bully and respected his age and size advantage. Also, not being trained to defend myself, I would have chosen to speak more wisely and reason with the bully in a way that appealed to his lighter side if he had one at all that is. I believe in this approach because any escalation towards violence is a bad thing. The bully is doing plenty of that work so it is up to you, the victim, to provide opportunities for peaceful negotiations and reasoning to take place. I believe it is possible to come out of these situations with a new friend even! All because you had the knowledge and ability to provide the platform for this to take place.

What I just described is my second line of defense from bullying. The first being avoidance of violence. This is merely a pre-caution one takes in their lives to avoid potential violence by choosing not to interact with those engaging in aggressive and violent behavior towards others. Meaning, if you can, run away! Not that this is always possible, but we’ll get to that in a moment. In my story, the bully got a baseball from my friend. While it is wrong of him to steal anything at all, your health and well-being are more important than any material thing like a baseball. Looking back, Phillip and I should have simply walked away and had fun doing something else. However, as I just said, this will not always be possible. My next story will illustrate an example when logic, reasoning, rules, and escape are impossible.

This has suddenly become a controversial topic as of late. Though I am confused as to why, I think I have a small understanding of why someone would be against the use of force in self-defense. In my own situation, I was at a party with friends and one of the younger guys at this party had something to prove. Younger, but much larger and stronger than myself. He started pushing me around so I tried to make my exit, but the second I turned around he pushed me to the ground and began kicking me relentlessly. I knew right then that if I didn’t react to this violence swiftly that I would end up in the hospital. Once you see or fall victim to violent behavior, it is typical to feel adrenaline pumping through your veins. I felt nothing but righteous indignation as I rose to me feet. I have never had martial arts training of any kind, but it all happened so suddenly and swiftly. I believe self-defense is a natural part of life for most if not all life.

The reaction to protect yourself from violence is not something that anyone or anything can take away from you. It is a choice to fight back or lay down and take a beating, unfortunately, a lot of times, bully’s hurt people for really selfish and illogical reasons. I did not hurt the boy, I got on top of him and pushed my forearm into his throat and applied enough pressure to pin him down. After several seconds I let off of him because I knew I did not want to hurt him. I held him down until finally he stopped struggling and asked him continuously if he was willing stop and talk. This experience left a big impact on me because it proved to me that self-defense does not have to be the blood and guts some would have you believe it is. Self preservation can be done in a very peaceful way that provides a large stage on which peaceful events can take place. This even involves taking preventative measures which bring people together just to increase standard of living so that there is even less potential for violence.

To sum up, bullying is a part of the human experience. It is when an individual miss understands the word freedom and takes it to an extreme where logic and reality do not apply to them. They are under the impression that it is perfectly okay for them to treat you like this because they believe you to be inferior to them. Either that or they feel so terrible about themselves that the only way they can feel accomplished is by wrecking someone else’s day. In either case, there are plenty of measures we as individuals can take to avoid, reason with, and even physically defend yourself from bullies.

Please comment below, I am interested in hearing other people’s opinions on these subjects including criticism. 

Don’t forget to rate please! Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!

 
Scott D. Vogler