Of Dicks and Donalds

A few nights ago, I was treated to a lovely discussion about the finer points of semen and masturbation, courtesy of the forklift boys on the dock:

“Hey guys, what do you think is more like semen? Cottage cheese or Jell-O?”

“Tell me what happens to your semen after you jerk off in the shower.”

“What about you, boss? How often do you jerk off?”

“Hey, I got a wife.”

“Oh, yeah right! Like that’s enough for you.”

“I’m not saying I don’t do it. I just have a wife and three kids. I ain’t got no time.”

“Hey, I don’t always have time either, but sometimes I’m flipping channels, and I see some big tits, and I say, ‘Hey, might as well.'”

Now, I can only thank God that I wasn’t part of this conversation. I work in the office on the other side of the wall. Had I been among those guys, I would’ve taken the first opportunity to escape to my car. Then I would’ve looked for something shiny to throw, so as to distract them and turn their teeny minds onto something else.

So men are apes. I think we all know and can accept that.

But now this tape comes out about Donald Trump grabbing women and women liking it because he’s a silverback in Stuart Hughes, and…everyone’s getting upset? Like they’re fucking surprised?

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tothereader I don’t really think Donald Trump would make a good president. This post may be many things (e.g. misanthropic and ill-informed), but it’s certainly not an endorsement. Okay? Good.

I have to be honest: Trump used the perfect terminology when he called his tape “locker room banter.” Have people not heard how the alphas talk when they’re amongst each other? Is this sort of thing really that shocking? Can you blame an alpha for being an atavism? I don’t think so.

On the other hand, I can’t blame the media either. Trump practically is the media, and he’s melded with it to create some unique symbiotic life-form. The media may be sensationalistic, but Trump can’t live a day without saying something sensational. A man of his ego doesn’t like attention, he needs it. We should all be used to it by now.

This is important, because it’s plain to me that this latest liberal anger has nothing to do with arguing presidential qualifications, and more to do with swaying the swing voters. “Hey,” they say. “Hey look! Hear what that guy said? Isn’t that naughty? We don’t say things like that!”

Uh-huh.

Of course, this is demonstrably untrue. Morrison, Edwards, Wu, Spitzer, Weiner, Clinton. Get real, people.

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For all their posturing about moral superiority, all Democrats care about right now is winning. Winning, winning, winning. It’s smelly, ugly, prick-waving dressed in a pretty pantsuit. Whether they want to tax rich people or not, we’ve still got two groups of gorillas screaming and scratching and clawing over the water pit.

How many sex scandals in politics must we hear of before we realize that this is what happens when we give our power and faith to other people? Have we all got amnesia? Did we forget the lesson we learned in high school, from our days among the jocks and the rich boys? It’s a fucking law of nature: social elevation creates horny entitlement. No, it’s not fair. No, it’s not sensible, but it’s what we are, and we need to stop pretending that we’re beyond it. People regress to lower beings when they have power, and that’s why our economy, our politics, and our world are so fucked up. The people with the money detach from humanity, they gain access to too many things, and they forget simple societal demands, like, say, compassion and decency. Capitalism is right in rewarding hard work, but when riches are gained without it, we get shit like this, folks.

But we’ll forget. Once Election Day is over, we’ll all forget about this, and then put up the affronted act when it happens again.

Life goes on, it’s an old story, the fight for love and glory, and we keep hoping. We’re humans, right? Not animals. We can transcend our primal urges and improve our society, can’t we? I’m sure that, as long as we keep chugging along the way things are, we’ll get some good people in charge, and close this shameful chapter of history.

I’m not saying I’ll run for office, of course. That shit’s hard work.

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:O :\ :(

Chased the muse yesterday until the wee hours. Felt great. Why did I avoid it for so long? The Muse has only ever energized and fulfilled me. Why did I feel scared before? It’s not Writer’s (or Animator’s) Block; I know exactly what I want to express. It’s just that when I look at my projects sometimes, I freeze. Where is this coming from?

I have a feeling that I’m digging into something very important here. I need to find out what’s getting in the way and root it out.

Profound Musings from the Caped Crusader

The other day I read a forum argument on some random website (I don’t even remember the name). It was about global warming, government buyouts, the death of the middle class, that kind of shit. Everyone has an opinion on world affairs, but are sorely without facts because so much is withheld from us, so it was more amusing than anything. The way I see it, we’re all riding on somebody’s else’s train, and it’s up to us to adapt and take back control where we can.

Anyway, the argument impressed me for remaining civil and intelligent, qualities that are…lacking in most internet discussions.

Here’s the sad part, though: the guy I sort of agreed with had this big-ass signature on all of his posts. I didn’t read it right away because it was a long quotation. When I neared the end of the thread, I looked at it closely. It read like some retarded campaign speech. Know who the quote was from? Wanna guess?

Batman.

Batman.

I left the site after seeing that, disgusted, confused, and flabbergasted. What the hell is going on here? Fucking Batman — I’m so sick of Batman! Why are Americans so deeply in love with Batman? When did he turn into our national fucking hero? Moreover, when did he become historically significant enough to quote in political discussions? He’s not even real!

“Well,” you might ask, “who would you quote instead, Mr. Smart-guy?”

PLATO, FOR GOD’S SAKE! SUN TZU! FDR! THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF EUROPE! Even George W. Bush. Yes, I said it. Quoting any of these people would be more dignified, and garner more respect, than lifting a line from a fucking COMIC BOOK. I’m sorry; but seeing the source of that quote sucked all the credibility from the discussion, and I ain’t returning to that site again.

Now you might think that a dope like me, who wants to draw cartoons for a living, has no call to judge others in this way, but I would never enter a political argument armed with quotes from Bugs Bunny.

Another thing you might think is that I’m overreacting, playing up my anger for the sake of entertainment, but I’m not joking around here. This sort of thing really worries me. If the intelligent people in this country look up to fictional character who dresses up as a bat, I don’t want to imagine what the dumb people worship. You think fictional quotes are valid? Then I’ve got a good one for you:

“We’re in a lot of trouble!”
–Howard Beale

We Want to Believe

About a month ago, I started a new job helping out at a local high school. I work with teachers who have to wrangle huge numbers of kids. Growing up, I had a reverent opinion of teachers: they were important figures who knew far more than I did, and their knowledge and authority were to be respected without question. Now that I’ve gone behind the scenes and tinkered with their tools, I’ve realized something else.

These people don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

They’re barely keeping things together. Organization is minimal, and buck-passing is common. They talk a big show to keep the students in line, but they don’t have any real power beyond vague, abstract threats. Nevertheless, the kids cower from the dreaded “referral,” and inevitably submit.

Now, I’m not saying this to knock teachers, nor to praise the rebellious nature of teenagers. I’m saying it because seeing the truth of the situation, and extrapolating it to the macrocosm of society, led me to a revelation: no one knows what the hell they’re doing. Not our parents, not the government, not even the faceless black shape we grimly refer to as “the corporations.”

Why do you think corporations pour so much money into lobbying for laws that benefit them? To hoard gold and power in their greedy quest to dominate humankind? Doesn’t that sound a little silly? They may be giant businesses that exist to turn a profit, but that doesn’t make them Sauron, Dark Lord of Mordor. No, they don’t lobby to harvest riches from the middle class; they do it because they’re terrified of losing everything. Remember what happened in 2008? A handful of morons made some dumb decisions, and the whole system nearly collapsed like a house of cards. Some of the biggest banks in the world, perfect representatives of the “evil moneychangers” we despise but won’t stand up to, broke under the strain. If you knew that you could lose all your money because of some idiot’s bad behavior, wouldn’t you try to protect yourself, too?

When Bill Clinton got grilled over the whole Monica Lewinsky thing, people got pretty pissed at him. It was adultery, it was deceit, it was illicit, dirty sex. Behavior far below what we expected from the leader of our country.

Why?

Bill Clinton is just a man, and men get horny. They cheat, they lie, they sleep around. Commonality shouldn’t excuse such behavior, but it also shouldn’t make it shocking. So why were so many people so upset? If someone lives in the White House, that makes him or her a saint? Why did we load such unrealistic expectations on some dope from Arkansas?

Fake crises are bad enough when it comes to public weirdness, but once you get to real, nation-shaking events, things go absolutely batshit. When John F. Kennedy was shot, and the World Trade Center towers were annihilated, conspiracies cropped up everywhere. There was no way that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. It didn’t make sense that terrorists could overtake planes with box cutters. The towers couldn’t possibly have fallen because of burning jet fuel. It goes against everything we’ve been taught. Such chaos simply cannot happen in the world we live in. Clearly there were Other, Darker forces at work. Right?

I don’t like to instantly trust official stories, but come on. We’re talking comic book super-villainy here. People whisper about Satanist celebrities and cabals of arcane cultists without the slightest bit of irony. They honestly don’t realize how ridiculous they sound. The outlandish idea that the Jews and the Illuminati are building and destroying lives at will somehow seems more plausible to them than what is far more likely: that the people we put in charge fell asleep at the wheel.

Look at what happened on 9/11. Look close. What you’ll see is the repetition of a perfectly normal human response: freezing up at the prospect of getting caught in a mistake.

How many times has your boss entrusted you with an important task that you went on to fuck up? How did you feel about it?Weren’t you desperate to correct the matter before anyone else found out, or at least to hide it until you could sneak away?

“Well, yeah,” you might say, “but that’s just my stupid little job. I’m nobody. These guys have real responsibilities. They’re supposed to have things in hand.”

Ha!

Get real: the more responsibility one has, the more hesitant one will be to admit that one dropped the ball. And that’s what happened on 9/11. In that case, the ball dropped very quickly, and fell on all of us. But hey, if you don’t keep an eye on the guys in the cockpit, then you have to accept that sooner or later you’re going to crash.

You think this country is easy to keep a grip on? With all the information and knowledge flying around these days? Folks complain about the government getting bigger, piling on the bureaus and filling in the committees, but this is only happening because our world is growing so fast, our hapless leaders can’t get their arms around it. They might as well try to keep an angry bear in a half-nelson; without increasing efforts, that sucker is going to break free.

Very few people are comfortable with this notion. It’s hard to accept the idea that the high kings above are just stumbling in the dark like the rest of us. It’s much more comfortable to put our faith in the guy with the slick suit and white teeth, even after he’s demonstrated, on multiple occasions, that he’s not worthy of it. We believe, with a fervor that borders on fanaticism, that the confident man must have everything under control, because the alternative is too awful to contemplate.

Our society thrives on false idolatry, the veneration of the televised. People like Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, Lebron James, Sofia Vergara, and Taylor Swift are held up and presented as gods, and we buy into it like rubes. Our own lives and experiences are played down as dull and insignificant, while all the excitement we hear about only seems to happen to “everyone else.” So we relinquish our power to institutions and symbols, beg for their scraps of money and property and credit, and willfully make ourselves theirs to play with, to reward and to punish, to herd and to slaughter.

It’s a lot easier than understanding that not one of these people is better than anyone else, and that each of us is responsible for his or her own fate.

Now, I realize that I’ve written about some outlandish things here. Spirit guides, God, machine elves, and such. The difference between myself and the idol-worshippers is that I don’t claim to know the truth about these entities, nor do I put much faith in them. A mighty force may have created this universe, but that doesn’t mean It has any kind of plan. For all I know, It’s dancing us into creation because It doesn’t know what else to do. Despite all the evidence I have that spiritual guidance occurs, I remain skeptical, even of my own theories. My chief complaint here is that too few people are willing to examine themselves, to explore their consciousness, to consider their experiences, to recognize themselves as reality, and the idols as illusory. If an individual must break away from society to remain sane, what amazing things could happen if we all became individuals?

The Facebook Problem

There’s something you should know about me. I, Daniel Rocha, made a pledge not to look at Facebook for an indeterminate amount of time, for my own good.

How did I come to make such a bizarre promise? Well, it’s actually on the orders of my counselor.

My counselor, Mary Anne, told me that she has a number of patients coming in to her because of Facebook. It gets into people’s heads. It makes them question their own lives. It makes them feel inferior. She gave me a warning: “Stay away from Facebook,” she said, “lest it devour your good sense and poison your mind.”

Okay, she didn’t say it quite like that, but the message was intact.

So what, exactly, is it about Facebook that upsets so many people, including myself? I’ve asked myself that question many times, and the answer is pretty simple. Looking over my News Feed, and the self-aggrandizing posts that populate it, makes me feel like shit. People use Facebook, and most other social media, as a means to validate their own lives, to feel as though they’re “making it” in our bizarre American culture. In this culture, success is measured by popularity. How many subscribers do you have? How many people follow you? Are you a beacon that lures people with no lives of their own? Do people envy you and your good fortune?

Are you a celebrity, or do you at least look the part? Everything’s A-OK in your world? No problems, no issues, just a picture-perfect life? Well, it’s no good unless you can show it off.

In the First World, where the lower three tiers of Maslow’s pyramid are more-or-less taken for granted, esteem is the true measure of success.

I don’t value esteem. I value the success of my works, but not of myself. I just want people to enjoy the things I make.

The world of social media, however, seems like the perfect opportunity for the rest of us to play celebrity, and God damn, if those folks who need that validation didn’t take it.

I don’t know why it bothers me, or the others who go to see Mary Anne. Or maybe I do. Maybe I don’t like to see people getting recognized, celebrated, even worshipped, for doing nothing more than living their very simple, very ordinary lives.

Do followers, admirers, worshippers, really make you feel better about who you are? Or is it a cover stick for your perceived failings? Does it ease the pain of knowing you’ll never be Kim Kardashian? Or Nicki Minaj? Or any other inexplicably popular human being in this screwy country? If that sort of thing doesn’t affect you, why bother sharing your own adventures online? Why bother presenting the best possible picture to strangers? Whom are you trying to impress?

Maybe I’m just a crusty old thirty-something who doesn’t fit with the flow of today’s cultural currents. Maybe I’m a crazy man who’s suffering under the weight of my own failures, but I just don’t see the need to celebrate myself. I don’t like to talk about myself; I never have. I like to talk about cartoons. I like to talk about movies. I like to talk about drama, emotions, how to evoke the strongest possible reaction in people through words, images, and ideas.

I’m feeling more and more like an old man. Goddamned kids just like a twist, I guess.