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Time and Again

There was a boy

Love is what he sought

Women brought him joy

But love, he found not

 

In his mind he was lost

Confused and weak-hearted

His heart became chill and frost

His morals long departed

 

It was lust that tore him down

He was disturbed in all respects

In his world, he would drown

A world of women and sex

 

He read of great men

Paragons of honor

Asked God to help him then

No response from thy Holy Father

 

He looked at other boys

Who were children, disgusting

They saw women as toys

Wanting to be players, thrusting

 

Time and again

The boy would do all he can

“Don’t focus on finding the right women

Focus on being the right man”.

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On Wealth, Individuality, and Conformity

Photo courtesy of: SlashGear

Well, it’s official: the iPhone 5S comes in gold. Whoopie.

But what does this mean for the people who buy the iPhone 5S in gold?

Let’s face it: more people have iPhones than people in the world have drinkable water. That’s disturbing. But why is that? Why do people constantly upgrade their iPhones or purchase their first one or need a flashy, Apple-logoed phone anyway?

The answer: wealth.

It is a part of human nature for humans to seek out a reason to show themselves off or express themselves. Whether that be how they dress, how they talk, act, or by what they possess, its all in the same ball game.

And yet if you look at it, the way humans show themselves off is what makes up a person and their life in general. How one acts, talks, and by what one has materially is what life is made up of. Some people are poor, some are criminals, some are rich.

But that is a matter of “wealth”. Look at it from a side of individuality and conformity.

My woodshop teacher once told me a story of his friend: a twenty-five year old millionaire businessman. This man, dressed in cargo shorts, sandals, a gray T-shirt, and an A’s baseball cap, walked into a Mercedes-Benz dealership. He received no attention from any staff members or employees, and so he walked out. Came back the next day in a three-piece suit, and the staff fell over themselves trying to sell him a car.

“I will never buy anything from this dealership, and I will tell my business associates and colleagues to never buy anything from here either.” The millionaire told the manager of the dealership.

Wealth is a possession that some people like to make known, others not so much. The millionaire man can be called someone who, possessing wealth, walks softly and would rather not show it off. A humble man, if you will.

He can also be described as an individualist. He does not conform to the societal notion that wealth and class must be made a part of who you are. Because in society’s view, wealth reflects your class. That’s why the Mercedes employees did not talk to the millionaire: he did not appear to have wealth, which means he did not appear to be part of the class of people who buys Mercedes cars.

If you go back to the iPhone situation, its a line of dominos: society differentiates classes of people based on which people possess wealth. An iPhone has become a symbol of wealth, and so everyone wants an iPhone to show off and appear “wealthy”. They are conformists.

Individuality. Conformity. Wealth. Society. They are all interrelated, but we still always have the choice of who to be, who to follow, and what to show off.

My message:

Be humble. Have few desires. Walk softly in the world of wealth.

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Tough Guy

Ace is the leader

A big boy in his twenties

Baby-face

Pouty mouth

Cheeks so red

Sly little steely eyes

Ace of spades on his right bicep

Inky-black octopus on his left

 

Car circling the park

Nobody’s watching

Popping noise like a firecracker

Ace screams and claps his hand to his eye

Blood

Buddies just freeze

Staring at Ace not knowing what to do

Scattering like pigeons

Ace is left alone

 

Blood running down his chest

Friends are scared following along

Don’t touch me!

Cops stop him

Dazed and ashamed

Friends have disappeared

Can’t get his breath

 

Way you’d talk to a small child or an animal

Can’t hold still

He’s crazy with fear

O God O God O God

He knows he’s going to die

Pain, pain throbbing and pounding everywhere

Orderlies hold him down

 

Death creeping up his feet

And he dies; it’s that easy

But there’s a feeling to him he isn’t real

People staring at him like he’s a freak

Stands sullen and quiet thinking his own thoughts

Hides how he feels

Ace stops laughing

You don’t know shit

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The Syria Situation: There Will be War

Everyone seems to be pretty clear of which camp they belong to when it comes to hostile military action toward Syria: either completely against or completely in support.

You have a group of people who are willing to take the fight to Syria even if its no one’s apparent business but the Syrians.

You have a group of people who do not want any part of Syria’s business for that exact reason: its Syrian business, and not anyone else’s.

But this is exactly the point and subject matter of the entire issue that lies at hand in the Syria situation: Syria is none of our business. You have a nation that is embroiled in a civil war, and foreign powers have meddled and fickled and tried to butt into the situation: whether they support the Assad regime or the rebel cause is irrelevant at this point.

If you look back at all the civil wars and divisions that have taken place throughout the most recent parts of our history, they are marked with intense and bloody full-scale war.The Korean War(Communist North supported by China and Russia, democratic South by the United Nations), the Vietnam War(Communist Vietnamese by the Russians, democratic Vietnamese by the United States).

Let’s go back even further. Russian Revolution of 1917(Aristocratic “Whites” supported by Western  Allies, Communist Bolsheviks supported by the German Empire and enemies of the Western Allies)

Or even so far as to say the French Revolution(Bourbon royalists supported, in theory, by Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, and other powers opposing revolutionary France, and Revolutionary France, supported in theory by the United States, small German states, and Spain)

My point is: throughout the history of the world, civil conflicts have always garnered the support of one camp or another from foreign powers. Camp A is supported by enemies of Camp B, who support Camp B. It has NEVER been about “what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s moral”. We are human beings and we live in a violent and doggy-dog world.

In the case of Syria, both Assad and the rebel forces have committed acts of tyranny, oppression, terrorism, and wage a violent and bloody war against their own culture and race of people. Syria is not in the right, but neither are the rebels.

If the world had any sense, they would leave the Syrians to kill each other and wait until one crawls out of the rubble bearing a white flag. We’d know who was the winner at that point, and we wouldn’t have to worry about World War III. But, in this day and age, diplomacy is “everything”, and so, the US and other major powers of the world will choose a camp to support. Mark my word: this will lead to war. If you look at the past, its the same setup. No one, especially not brave and courageous America or powerful and thick-accented Russia, is going to back down.

Just like Iran said, they will support Syria “to the end”. They don’t really care about Syria or its regime: Syria is a way to pick a fight with the enemies of Iran(a fight they think they can win).

America is doing the same thing, however. Most people of the world, including our well-to-do ally Great Britain, claim that America has no business in Syria. And we don’t. But America will pick a camp and use that reason to attack and humiliate the enemies of the United States: Syria, Russia, Iran etc. Barack Obama probably doesn’t give all that much a shit whether or not “chemical weapons” were used on the Syrian people: an opportunity has presented itself to assert control over an opposing power of the world. If you had any tactical or diplomatic sense, and you had the balls and power to back that sense up, you would use the opportunity to your advantage.

But, this might be the war that turns everything around for the United States. We have a huge national debt and economic strain on our people, and the people of the United States are tired and weary of war. If we attack Syria, and Iran and Russia and their camp come after us, there will be a war unlike anything we’ve seen yet.

And we will lose. We will lose for several reasons:

1. American citizens are tired of war and economic strain. Civil unrest will SKYROCKET. We’d be fighting a war no one wants to fight.

2. Iran and Russia, who are technically supporting their ally Syria, are in a better diplomatic and military position to strike against us. They are on the defensive. Our allies will flee(Great Britain has refused to fight), and we will be left alone to fight a war against formidable Russia and numerous Iran.

3. We do not have the treasury to support a full-scale war, nor do we have the treasury to pay the upkeep, transportation, and replenishment costs of a 1.4 million-strong Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, who would all be levied to service in the case of a large and concentrated Russo-Iranian-Syrian retaliatory campaign.

The Syria Situation is a reason for the US and our allies to strike against Syria, Russia, and their allies. Only way to get out of a hole is to stop digging(before its too late).

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The Years

Just took a look through my Freshman yearbook. I am a Junior now. That was two years ago. I looked through all the pictures of my class and the class ahead of me.

It’s interesting: in truth, there is a certain sadness that surrounds the memories of my past. Seeing photos of people who have changed now. People you don’t talk to. People who are long gone, attending other schools, living in other cities, gone from your life forever.

It’s sad. Might not be sad to other people, but it’s sad for me. Sometimes I think about the person that I was. Even as a Freshman, Sophomore. I was different. Better or worse as a person, I cannot say. Just different. The world was different. People were different. They looked different and behaved differently. They had different morals and goals and principles.

And yet, at the end of the day, we are still here. Through the years, I am alive. And well. And more mature and intelligent and individualistic. I am here. So are many others. We are all in the same bubble, and it surpasses even the thought of time.

Sadness might accompany the memories of my past, and uncertainty and longing shroud my future, but at the end of the day: we live for right now. The moment one forgets that, the moment one’s world takes a dark turn. Thoughts go rampant. Feelings go uncontrolled. That’s how I feel.

I think about the people and the experiences we’ve had. The experiences I’ve had with myself. Comparing it to right now, they seem like such foolish and “immature” things to think about. But in truth, I don’t know if that is entirely true. I was immature and foolish, but who is not at that age or even this age? Two years ago or right now, we act immature sometimes and make foolish mistakes. It’s a part of being human. But being sad and disappointed of one’s past: that’s a different matter. Being sad not only in one’s past, but the past experiences of others as well. How people have changed. As a society, and as individuals: people are different and will continue to be different. That is a fact of life.

A key question to ask is: how does this affect ones’ self. How do the pasts of my own life and others lives affect how I live now?

A wise man would answer: they don’t, and they do. Both at the same time, always and forever. One can choose to learn from mistakes and try and change their life, or one can refuse to let anything or anyone affect them. They both go down paths with strengths and weaknesses.

It’s interesting: I’ve been down both paths. I used to not give a rat’s ass about what anyone thought about me or what the world was like or society and the people in it. I cannot say I was entirely “happy”, but I was dedicated, confident, headstrong, and quick-witted. Immature and foolish too.

Now, I would say that I do care more for people and society as a whole. Not entirely what they think of me, but who they are: they are people. People who feel and who think, who create and laugh and cry and fight and argue as I do. We have all these things in common. Now, I am sociable, intelligent, dedicated; but others issues plague my inner being: chastity, honesty, virtue, and most importantly: happiness. Am I more happy giving more of a shit about people and society? About my past experiences with people? Past feelings and how they’ve affected me(or how they AFFECT me right now?)

I don’t know. I know I shouldn’t be saying that, but it is the truth: I do not know if I am happier having all these people in my life around. Love and friendship is one thing, but I believe I live in a society that has little love or friendship at all. I believe that I looking back into the past and into my yearbook and examining all the faces of all the people who are in my class, used to be in my class, who are dead or alive or a punk rock or a prostitute or some jock athlete or cheerleader, is worthless. Looking and thinking about the past with people who are not truly in your life or who you do not give a shit about you is worthless. They do not affect your life or your heart or your being: they only affect the thoughts that swirl around in your mind.

Society affects your mind. It is people and love that affects your heart and your life.

I once knew this to be the truth. I once held it dear. Society makes you forget that truth. Since I was a Freshman, that Mexican kid I saw in that yearbook picture from two years ago, society has brought me down to its level; its level of thinking, level of living. Barely a stone throw away from stupidity and ignorance, injustice and hatred.

But the people in my life have looked out for me. Friends. Family. And most importantly: myself. In the end, it is the individual that a soul is given. Albert Einstein was right and true in those words. And it is individuals sharing and giving love and showing compassion that affects people’s lives and saves them from the abyss of society.

Love. Show compassion. Give. Be a friend. Learn from your friends and loved ones.

I can never forget the world I live in, or the people in it. Even all those people in the yearbook. You cannot forget; you can never forget. A fool forgets. And although you might not always be able to understand, there stands one thing that everyone in this world and the next need to do when it comes to society, the people in it, the people of your past, and your own past person: understand.

Understand. Reflect. Never forget.