Friday, June 25, 2010

Every single action has a butterfly effect

Just in case you’re wondering, the title of this post isn’t a fact, but it is a rule that you may want to live by. Regarding people’s actions, it’s amazing to see how many people simply don’t take into account the repercussions of any of their actions. I’m not talking about pulling the trigger of a gun, robbing a bank or something as terrible as throwing a grenade at a gas station. I’m talking about the little things in life that people take for granted and simply choose to ignore rather than address.

If you want simple tangible examples, you don’t have to go very far. Just get in your car and you’ll see what I mean. People texting and driving, talking while going in reverse in their car, drinking hot coffee, picking their nose or screaming at a member of their family. These are just five examples I came up with in less than four seconds so imagine how many things you can think of if you really put your mind into it.

“Ok, so what’s the big deal with any of those examples?” you may ask. Ok, let’s take each one, analyze and see possible outcomes.

1. Texting and driving: it’s stupid, it’s retarded and yet a lot of us do it because we live in the age of multitasking. Call it ego or being too bored with putting your entire attention span to driving, but people text and drive and here are some possibilities that stem from doing this act. First one, you can crash. You send a text while driving, don’t see that the car in front of you stopped and you hit it. Pretty simple and quite common. Thing is if it’s an angry text or a sexy one, odds are that your body reacts in certain non verbal ways that you don’t necessarily take into account while clicking away. Namely that you tense up and possibly press on the accelerator more than you have to. Second off, since your brain is divided, you’re not all there when writing the message so you may send the wrong message while writing since you’re not all in it. Then there’s typos and it can be something simple, or you may call the person by another name (not making that one up and that little mistake almost cost the relationship because the whole infidelity thing came into play). So that’s you, but what if you texting reminds someone that they have to text someone else? Great. Now we have two multitaskers adding blades to their juggling set. Ok so what if someone who’s not texting sees this? They may not care, but they might get infuriated which takes their attention from the car in front and voila, another crash in record time. And this is just thinking for less than two minutes about this example.

2. Talking while going in reverse in your car. Yet again we have a case of an overachieving multitasker. In case you’re wondering, I’m not even referring to people who drive and talk. I’m talking about the people who get into the car and insist on calling someone up while putting the car in reverse. To sum it up simply, your visibility will be shot, you won’t take into account all of your surroundings, you can crash and what’s more, there’s 32% probability you’ll drop your phone and your call. By the way, holding the phone with your shoulder and head prompts unwanted button presses etc. As if that weren’t enough, you are probably setting yourself up for a nice case of torticollis AKA wry neck. Fun times.

3. So what about drinking hot coffee while driving? Two words for you: burnt genitals.

4. And picking your nose? Well unless you think it’s sexy to let people know you keep a collection of nose nuggets in the arm rest of your car, I’d choose the option of waiting for home, unless it’s mandatory that you pick that sucker.

5. As for screaming to your family, well maybe it’s better you do that so people know who lurks behind the façade.

The point is that I just took five casual and everyday occurrences and showed that each one has its own set of repercussions. Now think of every time you hit your keyboard, every time you call someone an asshole, every time you spit gum on the sidewalk or street, that can you tossed on the floor, that call you didn’t make, that vote you didn’t cast and you realize that every single one of our actions has repercussions of varying degrees and some results will probably surprise you since you didn’t think what you did mattered. After all, it’s just one in six billion right? Well that’s exactly the attitude that leads to complacency, mediocrity, and disharmony.

So next time you are about to do something that doesn’t matter, think twice because it does matter and you can make a difference if you only give a damn.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Waves are my support group

At my most joyous, my saddest, my most frustrated and at my most serene, nothing has been there longer for me than the ocean except my mother. Equal parts mistress, best friend, lover, confidante and reality check, the ocean has treated me like a sea side cliff. It’s had its hand into shaping the way I am, the way I see life and all the existential ponderings that came natural to me after almost drowning twice.

But through it all, the scrapes, bruises, spankings and close calls, the ocean has always been there for me. It’s the place where I can truly see how many voices are rambling in my brain as I soothe and sort the chatter to get back to balance. Ask most any surfer and they’ll tell you that at least once, surfing has helped them cope with some traumatic situation in life. In my case, it’s been a couple of times and it’s been more than just a few issues.

To be brutally honest, if it weren’t for surfing, writing and music, I’d have cracked a long time ago. Instead I’m able to channel energies in different lights so as not to damn the emotional well that is my soul.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Se le fue el Kayak

Pensando libremente, sin presiones políticas, opiniones imperialistas ni intereses económicos, a la verdad que me parece que Tito Kayak debería coger un buche, tomar unas vacaciones y dejar de ser un roba cámara. Hace un tiempo ya me está que más que nada, es por fama que hace sus protestas. Ya el mensaje que pudo haber tenido en algún momento se ha evaporado. Porque si fuese por hacer una diferencia, ¿dónde estuvo el querido Kayak al derramarse petróleo a las costas de Cabo Rojo? ¿Dónde está Tito reclamando los derechos de las mujeres y los homosexuales que son tan boricuas como él y que sufren abusos a cada esquina? ¿Dónde estaba el prócer Tito cada vez que un hospital vertía desperdicios biológicos en fuentes fluviales y caños?

Bien simple. Estaba lejos de esos verdaderos problemas porque no tienen la atención del público y por ende, no vale su tiempo ya que no le dan esos titulares que tanto atesora. ¿Hay una huelga? ¿Hay un paro nacional? ¿Suben el precio del Teodoro Moscoso? Pues ahí está él porque eso sí es noticia y eso sí vale la pena. ¿Están haciendo un hotel que está aprobado? Pues vamos a reclamar que derrumben el edificio y cien otras cosas que no hacen sentido y le quitan credibilidad a personas que sí aman esta isla.

Por esto no me refiero a los independentistas, macheteros y compatriotas de la República de la Universidad de Puerto Rico que con sus barbas mal atendidas, ojos de yerba buena y camisas del Ché opacan a los estudiantes que si tienen el deseo de obtener lo mejor por sus compañeros y tienen dos dedos y medios de frente en un intento fútil de combatir el .35 de frente que tiene el resto de los neandertales artísticos, que por cuan creativos se pongan sus mensajes, continúan demostrando que no tienen idea de ni por qué se quejan.

El Kayak saca a relucir lo peor de un independentista. De ser alguien que podía hacer una diferencia, se ha vuelto un Toño Bicicleta de la ignorancia socio política de este país. El problema es que para una verdadera revolución, se requiere acción y verdadera acción. Por acción no me refiero a comprarte un semí, que te pintes de brujo y que proclames la protección de nuestra versión de Pandora después de ver Avatar quince mil veces. Me refiero a salir y votar por los mejores candidatos, me refiero a no ser un puerco y botar la basura donde va y a reciclar cada vez que se presente la oportunidad, me refiero a darle la mano a alguien que necesita ayuda, me refiero a exigir un programa de rehabilitación de adictos en vez de mera relocalización, me refiero a ganarte la vida y no pretender que te la regalen, o peor, que te la bequen aunque no te la merezcas.

Este país tiene problemas que ni botando y aún así estamos mejor que muchos otros sitios y no sólo porque tengamos la libertad de escoger entre Burger King y McDonald’s. Hay problemas de corrupción, hay problemas de educación, hay problemas de información y hay problemas de administración. Hay problemas de todo tipo y lo menos que nos hace falta es que un ridículo se pare sobre un puente reclamando sobre nuestro derecho de no pagar tanto por un peaje.

Me parece que hay problemas más importantes que ese, aunque reconozco que es pura opinión.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

If sheep were meant for heaven, call me a goat

I’m not calling for all out revolution. I’m not recommending Anarchy in the US. I’m just saying that having your own opinions and thought patterns wouldn’t be half bad. That the US has a higher voter to viewer ratio on American Idol than on Presidential elections should be a source of worry. Technology advances with leaps and bounds, but human intellect is stunted.

Why read when I can see the movie? That’s pretty much the general attitude of at least half the population, and you know that’s a kind statement. At best, people might have opinions they share on their blogs, but like many church goers, the love of all mankind and respect to one’s brethren ceases as soon as you exit the double doors, get in your car and are faced with the choice of accelerating or letting someone else pass first. That last bit means that people might be righteous online, but in the real world they are a lot tamer.

It’s quite an interesting contradiction: “I want everything for myself except my thoughts. For that I’ll just read my favorite news source, see where people are trending towards and I’ll mold my personality accordingly.”

Sounds like a stretch, but most people seem to behave in that way. Case in point, the worldwide adoration to Avatar. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is super well made, but best movie of all time? Come on. I don’t even consider it the best movie of 2009, much less the 2000’s and certainly not all time. But people still dress up in blue, tickle themselves in their tender places and insist on regurgitating what they were offered as fact instead of opinion. And don’t get me started on the people who learned the Na’vi and were suicidal because they couldn’t live on Pandora. WTF people.

It may be human nature to gravitate towards like minded people, but that isn’t the problem. The problem is that people are treating opinion like an organized religion. They accept all they’re offered without questioning a single point and when they see dissent, they cry witch and get their tar and feathers ready for a lynching. The worst thing about adopting someone else’s opinion is that you can’t change it directly. That’s why it should be your opinion. That’s why you should desist on being a sheep. You don’t have to wage all out war. You don’t need to be a terrorist threat. You just need a brain and the nerve to stand behind what you think.

Otherwise enjoy the grass and the company.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blind Faith: Trusting what’s printed on nutrition labels

People count calories, they compare fat content, they raise an eyebrow at sodium percentages and many shudder at reading the phrase high fructose corn syrup. That’s a good thing because people are reading and comparing and trying to control what they put into their body. There’s only one problem, none of us really know if what we’re reading on a label is really what is in a can, a box, or a bag.

Every single day we put Blind Faith into effect and I don’t mean by putting the Blind Faith album from the 60’s into their stereo or MP3 player of choice. I mean that we trust that something doesn’t have fat, something really is low sodium and that the product we consume doesn’t contain something that could make us sick. It’s not that a cereal box has rat droppings, but who’s to say that a cereal contains what it says on the side of the box. Who guarantees that the salmon we’re eating really isn’t halibut.

Recently a group of students ran DNA* studies on cafeteria food and found that what they were being offered as beef was something else. I won’t get into specifics because the technology is still in development and there are questions to the validity of the results. That being said, what guarantee do we have that it isn’t right, and that instead of beef we’re not eating dog? Truth is we have no idea what we put into our bodies. Sure we read labels, but many are misleading and others go through the traditional routes of saying natural flavor, artificial flavors, but don’t really go into specifics. If you don’t believe me, just read a couple of nutritional labels and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

So next time you’re not feeling too good stomach wise, ask yourself a very simple question… what the hell have I been eating?

(*NOTE: if you want to see an article on what I’m talking about in regards to the DNA food testing, click the title of the post. Not the event I referred to, but scarier, especially if you love sushi.)

Authority was made to be questioned

When you think about the powers that be, public opinion and what’s considered to be normal, one could be quite tempted to simply not accept everything we’re offered as a truth, a given, a more or even a law. Some things are elemental and no brainers and don’t have to be questioned such as heinous crimes or attitudes of a dubious moral nature.

A paradigm by definition requires an overthrow to continue with evolution on pretty much every level, in any industry and in any quasi structure where the norm has been established. It happens with music, it happens with fashion, it happens with art, it happens with religion and it happens with politics.

What’s most interesting is that dissent and the power of breaking a paradigm begins with doubt, questioning, and the use of reason by people who are tuned to a different wavelength, a new zeitgeist if you will. From worshipping mother Earth, we switched to a panel of anthropomorphic deities that more often than not, showed character flaws we could relate to. Then Rome plagiarized the Greek system, changed the names and said it was a new religion. In other parts of the globe, Nordic mythology brought a rich mix of fiction and nature veneration, Zoroastrianism and Islam brought different spins to the Messiah story, Taoism brought a series of beliefs and pagan rituals to the masses, Buddhism ascribed godly attributes to the worldly, Hinduism professes its own series of mores and rules through a richly textured religion, Confucianism and Shintoism offer vastly different ways of seeing life in the same country and that’s without taking into account the beautiful religions from Native Americans, Amazon tribes, African tribes, Eskimos and all other aborigine tribes to explain what is this life we live. And this is just religion and just what we know without taking into consideration something as extensive as the Incan, Mayan and Egyptian religions. But trends have been found and they have changed. Catholicism is fighting tooth and nail to stay as the dominating super power religion while secular trends are trying to bring it down. If history serves as a frame of reference, what this means is that eventually something will replace it.

The same goes for economic systems. Feudalism, monarchies, fifes and capitalism are all wonderful isms for as long as they work to keep the participating parties happy. Politics have the eternal battle of the isms vs democracy. The progress of science is even based on dissenting voices questioning what has been established as knowledge. And as if that weren’t enough, a technological gestalt is pretty much impossible at the rate we’re delivering advances.

What does this hefty intro mean then? Well to quote Dylan: ‘The Times are a changin’. People don’t trust their governments, economic systems are collapsing, a desire to unify the world is in conflict with those who would rather facilitate segregation and knowledge in general has the daunting task of having to convince an ever growing society of cynics that what they’re living is not only normal but that they should be thankful for what they receive.

In this current economic state and even if you hate what you’re doing, it seems you have to be thankful for the cluster rape of work you offer at bargain prices while company magnates expect you to not notice that they have plenty of pie on their face, which they obviously don’t want to share. The debate over what is just and unjust is coming into play and people don’t like the results their observations are offering, and they want an explanation.

Why is it possible that healthcare can put a family on the street? Why do we have to give money to bail out an industry that is based on greed? How can we be expected to trust a government that thrives on backstabbing and scapegoating? Why are the powers that be surprised that we aren’t biting on the red herring? Why are they so scared?

Think, question authority, have an opinion. After all, it is your right... for now.

An obsession with inches: waist vs penis

In a material world such as ours, few measurements have more selling power than the inch. Miles per hour might sell cars through speed and gas efficiency, pounds might sell a variety of nutrition programs and is quite close on the scale to inches, but nothing can compete with the almighty inch. You see, only the inch can be responsible for billions of dollars in sales for fitness, weight loss, penis enlargement, bust reduction or augmentation, height, sexual paraphernalia, food and lord knows what else.

No other measurement is as malleable in its applications to sell. In fitness you can lose fifteen inches from your waist or increase two inches in your biceps. In weight loss, Body Mass Index (BMI) depends on the measurement of your body vs your height and build. In penis enlargement, well it’s self explanatory because rarely if ever will you see anyone want to trim anything from their pole vault. Breasts are another matter altogether because the search for the perfect bust can last several years thanks to the sheer materialistic excellence of plastic surgeons saying less is more and more is just wonderful. For height, heels are sold to varying degrees thanks in part to the size of their heel and size dictates needs, tastes, trends, and personality. Men don’t stray too far behind because often times they need that extra oomph to not look like an overachieving Oompa. In the phallic paraphernalia department it’s similar in concept to some of those mentioned above but the applications obviously differ somewhat since you can literally tailor make your own “best friend” no matter what weird ass pubic pet peeve you may have. As for food? Well Subs and Pizza depend on the almighty inch because remember, a foot long is always shown with a ruler showing twelve inches.

But the obsession over the almighty inch when it comes down to genre is just awe inspiring. If you’re not too keen to accept this hypothesis, then by all means tell me what you think about when I mention 36-24-36. If you’re thinking Power Ball numbers you have a problem. Most likely you’ll think of those fictitious Barbie measurements we’re sold as the ideal and what all women should strive for. If I happen to say 6 to 10 inches, what do you think about? Odds are that something meaty comes to mind, and I’m not talking value menu items.

The funny part is that in the obsession competition, I really don’t know who wins. I’m inclined to say men simply because male enhancement products sell so much, and because I’m pretty sure most men any of us know have measured themselves at least once in their lives, and yes that does include myself because I was a teen and my hormones did rage. But women in their pursuit for beauty do anything to trim their waist line, even if they look worse after losing the weight.

What’s best is that the base reason for the obsession is the same. Call it vanity, self pride, self worth, confidence or what have you; the quest for the perfect inch is something that crosses demographics, religions, boundaries, age, gender, etc. I’m not saying everyone in the whole world is obsessed with inches, but I will go out on a limb and say that most first world countries that don’t have the real problems severely impoverished societies do face have an obsession with what they’re packing around their midsection.

Pretty sad we don’t put the same focus and energy about two and a half feet northward huh? Excuse me, I meant 30 inches north of the mid section.

What the hell is artisan water

In a world where we can literally sell ANYTHING and get away with it, water has become the weapon of choice to reach new heights of idiocy. It wasn’t that long ago when I remember that I could drink water from a garden hose and only have to worry about maybe adding a rubbery hint to my flatulence. But nay, those days are long gone and we are left with a world that has to pay for something that pretty much makes ¾ of our body.

Oh and if you haven’t noticed, business is booming. From Dasani to Naya to Aquafina, Deer Spring, Evian and Fiji water, that little cocktail consisting of two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen sells like hotcakes and just like cars, apparel and neighborhoods, each brand caters to a specific person looking for basic hydration.

If you’re like me, you go to Costco, pick the cheapest brand that doesn’t taste like plasma from a Styrofoam monster and chug away, often refilling from your work’s ample and free water supply. But of course, this isn’t enough for some people and for these little wonders, we came up with artisan water.

In case you’re wondering, artisan water is not made by artists. It is also not the water used to clean brushes between color strokes while painting on a canvas. Just in case, it isn’t water used to make moving pieces of art either. In fact, there is actually no such thing as artisan water. What some people sell as artisan water is actually artesian water, which comes from ground wells dug up. Artisan water is just the trendy name given to the water type just to sell easier and pique intrigue in passersby from around the world.

Which brings me to one more point: just how much are we willing to pay for water in the long run? A bottle of Pellegrino can set you back almost $6 (US) in some places. Fiji water goes upwards of $2 (US) in most places. Dasani sells for $1-$2 depending on your venue and guess what, it’s treated tap water (I say treated because purified this ain’t, and in case you were wondering, Dasani is a made up word). The varying hydro markets shift and change with the greatest of ease and in the end, what do we get? Something that we used to be able to get from the faucet for little or no cost.

So next time your sipping on your premium water of choice, just remember that once upon a time, water, unlike you, was free.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Few things hurt more than listening to Sarah Palin speak

Politicians by nature are filled with crap. Sorry, that's just part of the job description as are empty promises, going against what you really believe to win votes and being an overall hypocrite, though luckily there are a few exceptions. That lovely intro being established, Sarah Palin is one of the few politicians who isn't afraid to be herself. The problem is that herself includes being idiotic, reading scripts worse than George W. Bush and basically tarnishing the image of women in politics, Alaskans, and republicans in general. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Republican loving person in the political sense of the word, but I do think good competition leads to better results hence me wishing upon a star for better GOP representatives because if Democrats will be running the show for a while, I prefer sharp Republicans to force them to do a good job. Actually that's all I really want, you can worship the donkey or the elephant, I could care less, just do your job right.

Back to Palin though.

It seems that every time she decides to open her pie hole, something stupid comes out. From her position on offshore drilling where she pretty much blames environmentalists for the crisis, to calling reporters by made up nicknames. There's being personable and then there's being a jackass. That's you Sarah.

You aren't smart and the simple fact that you're female shouldn't give you a boost because Hillary Rodhman Clinton's great toe is more of a woman than you'll ever be, and she didn't get elected. You're just a dishy soccer mom who caters to religious nuts and conservative freaks that seem to have a short term memory, and forget that white north americans were the first immigrants... they just happened to have better weaponry and diseases.

As for your entire agenda... thanks for the entertainment but I seriously hope people don't take you seriously because if you happen to have a shot, I just might move out of the US. And I mean it this time.

Change of Focus

After some time with this blog I realize that writing on here isn't as easy as any of the other places I write. When I analyze this, the most important thing that comes to mind is that this is my optimistic blog, my happy blog and also the one I don't curse at. Seeing my difficulty with this, I've decided to say one simple thing:

Fuck that.

A blog exists to speak one's mind and mine just happens to be filthy and some other places I write I have complete freedom in content... so it's a bit frustrating to see that I've taken so long to even surpass 50 posts on this blog while I've written hundreds of random things on others. So if anyone is reading, which seems doubtful, rest assured the times are a changin and this blog is going to become quite a vent... so though I may not go with a smile with what I write, I will have the satisfaction of not having a crutch.