INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to BobKat's Lair ®

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A lair is a home; A castle; A burrow; A haven; a place where one should feel safe. To ensure our safety especially in one's lair, we have laws. And some laws cause more harm than good!

This is a good place. There's lots to see and do. It's apolitical while providing non-partisan news about politics, which we can't escape.

Check out my aquarium and feed the fish; check out my post(s), my favorite media list and the many links to websites that promote what I feel is important.

Time for the awakening...

That is what my goal is here... to present topics which highlight the plight of people. Why, 2000 years after Caesar Augustus, are we still a people being hurt? With all our advancements in technology, medicine, communications, why are we a people still being hurt? Human nature hasn't changed much, but that doesn't mean it isn't time now for that to happen, and it is undoubtedly happening - hard to see however. This blog is part of that change and a witness to it.

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My blog is dedicated to my family, friends, mentors, and all others whom I am grateful to, and love(d).

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NOTE: Nothing included in my Blog is intended to advocate behavior illicit in nature, or in violation of man-made laws where harm to a living person, animal or the environment is involved. Person's under 17 probably shouldn't be here, though there is far worse out there. Just saying.


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December 31, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - PART EIGHT - Mother's Bitter Pill

Edited Jan. 02, 2011, 8:30PM

It's during your late teens/early 20's that you find the key, or you don't. I found it. It exists!

If my life is for no other reason, it would be my legacy and involvements in a new world order during the `970's. The '60's and 70's earned their place in history, and I'm certain historians will try to delve into people like myself during those years.

What we know of ourselves is not always obvious or understandable. It's obvious there are many different facets to our reality, who we are.

Sociologically We are:

1) Who we see ourselves as.
2) Who we see ourselves as reflected in others.
3) How we feel others perceive us.
4) How others do perceive us.
4) It's the empirical whole of all the above and that makes us who we are.

When I first moved out I faced my life... literally. I I realized I was "on my own". I had decisions to make. A life...

Sink or swim?

Mother's Bitter Pill is that for years after I moved out my mother hovered over me... today what we call "helicopter parents". Every decision I made was wrong. Every single one!

What hurts really bad still today is the fact that I made my decisions with considerable thought. My decisions made sense to me.

My father used to ask me, I think I said already, "why am I rebelling?"

I wasn't.

But to them, I was... and to my mother it was unspeakably and totally unacceptable, "my behavior".

So there, I've said it. But there's more.

I let my hair grow long, then; I worked full-time as a custodian at a college. I lived at the edge of the campus in an apartment. I rode a bike everywhere. I had a dream job, working at the college's Fine Arts Center. I had a bundle of keys I proudly wore from my belt. My position made me an employee, and a student. Tuition was part of the benefits, and I took a lot of free classes.

My father used to joke that "I'd beat the system". Ironically I was never sure how to take that. As sarcasm, since no one could, or as recognition -'job well done"!

As in the story by Ray Bradbury, "R Is For Rocket", and the short-story within, "Frost and Fire", I'd found my way to the "scientists"... I could make my life anything I wanted it to be.

And for four full years I did just that... to describe it is essentially what this topic is about... my Rite of Passage. Heaven and Hell...

Simply put, I was a disgrace to my mother. The phone calls every other day were meant to remind me of that 'fact'. With questions like "when am I going to get a real job?" When am I going to stop fucking whores and get married?" "When am I going to start caring about others?"

A total disconnect... The conversions were mostly one way and upsetting.

The farthest thing from my mind was being a disgrace to the family... but that is what I was! A total 180 degree opposite from the reality I was living.

At age 24 the shit hit the fan... the night before I was to move to Arizona. I didn't really want to move, but even my father said this town "is too small for you and your mother". At the time, the "go west young man" was on everyones mind anyways. Trouble is I gave up a lot when I moved. A huge "lot".

The night before I was to leave I called home... my mother wanted to know who I would be staying with? On the surface not a odd question, but her motive behind the question went far deeper... and I wouldn't answer her. I took the 5th. But eventually she got me to admit I was going to live with a friend that was a woman. A platonic friend.

Mother's Bitter Pill... she cursed me and damned me to hell for my choice to live in sin with a woman.

When people talk about PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), they generally don't consider my experience that night to fall into place. But after 5 years of living the good life, to hear her say that devastated me... it shrunk me back to "child". I stayed in AZ one month... and as if what my parents said would happen had happened, which it didn't, I got on a bus, left my cat, moved back home and it took a year for me to move out again. I was never the same after that night.

December 30, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - PART SEVEN Dichotomy

"DICHOTOMY" - Either/Or...

Black or White...

Good or Bad...

Right or Wrong...

Republican or Democrat...

Left or Right...

Moral or Immoral...

Conformist, Non-Conformist...

Insider/Outsider...

Man/Woman...

Purist/Non-Purist...

Of God/Not of God...

Need I go on...? Need I stop?

Let's face it... "You're either one of us or you're not!"

It's called "Dichotomy"...

Blessed or damned...

Accepted, Not accepted...

Either part of the solution, or part of the problem?

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My topic, "Rite of Passage" begins with Sex and Suicide... not a savory combination of actions... but give me a chance here, because I'm about to introduce you to the best part.

For some reason beyond my understanding, our society is stuck on dichotomy... two choices in life. That's what it means.

Example... on the back of all US Money is the phrase - "In God We Trust". This was added around 1949. It doesn't mean we accept the God of all nations, despite our commitment to "Freedom of Religion". No question, it refers to the God, Christ, Jesus... none other. Sure, we "tolerate and do what we can to accept other religious beliefs, but fact is, the USA is or became a Christian Country.

We're not exactly Catholic... we don't like the "no condom" rite of sex... nor do we seem to abide by rules, like marriage vows, or loyalty to country. There's a good measure of radical to being an American. Something you'd think other countries would respect about Americans - our Wild West Rebellious side... but they don't. All PR... (Public Relations). It's like all Americans are either good or bad, for or against, open or closed.

The reality couldn't be further from the PR.

One only needs to go back to the 1960's and 70's to see that Americans are free... to a point... a point poised at your eyeball...

The great thing about Americans are that we are individualized. We have in many ways learned to cooperate. Which means I can communicate with with most Americans - being a spiritualist I can connect with a Christian, or Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim... to that extent "we are free".

Where we're not free is the PR about us, or US. Since the late 1800's we became a two party political system... prior to that, "party" meant "cause"... and since news traveled slowly, multiple parties in politics was a way for all sides to lobby for their form of government. Of course, all that changed... and now, today, you're either Republican or Democrat or Other...

Others don't really count, just so you know.

We are however a "Democracy". On paper.

I say on paper as a lot of political effort goes into maintaining the two-party system of government.

The problem with that is reality is gray and colors... not black and white.

Sure, two parties, right and wrong, good or bad, for or against is easy to comprehend.

At age 20 I ran full, blunt force into the dichotomy.... I grew up believing I was free... I found myself at 20 years old in 1976. There was no dichotomy then... not that we recognized.

It wasn't anarchy, but rather, our believe to "question reality". "Question Authority".

From 1974 to 1981 i held a public job... and I can tell you with a 100% certainty that 80% of the public used marijuana, at least once. 80% of the public were criminals, and today, they pretend they never touched the stuff. Yet 50% will get drunk, or smoke tobacco, and that's okay. 60% will favor big business over the average American worker, and that's okay. 70% will turn a blind eye to the fact that "Made in USA" means it was manufactured in a foreign country, but the label "Made in America" is fictionally applied - being as an American company produced the goods.

In 1975, I didn't know it then, but success meant choosing box A or Box B. Call me stupid as I found Box C... and that wasn't the plan. Fact is, most people my age during the 1970's should be rounded up are charged with nonconformity... as well as those during the 1960's...

Fact is... dichotomy didn't settle well with us, or US. One way to solve the current hangover from the Great recession, that was actually and still is a Depression, is to round up all "others" and execute us. Most of us used illicit drugs. most of us questioned authority. Most of us were dissidents. Rebels. Non-conformists.

Put me out of my misery when I say, quite forthright, that cannabis is far better than your friggin alcohol!!!That not for a second do I believe my government has just-cause to ban one while taxing and legitimizing the other.

The world is not black and white... it's not a dichotomy!!!

Just so you know... American Citizens are Not Free... and in New Hampshire that means it's better to be Dead!

Live Free or Die... how far did we sell ourselves to exactly what we tried to avoid.... ?

Obama, King of England/USA... what promises have you delivered??? Seems to me... politics as usual... what's worst, you laugh at people that would prefer cannabis to alcohol.

Oh yeah, cannabis is dangerous alright... when compared to legal alternatives like alcohol and tobacco which aren't even comparable the risk factor is cannabis 1, to tobacco75 to alcohol the rest. And with ALL YOUR SCIENCE you promised to bring to Washington... you've brought nothing.

2012 doesn't even matter anymore... you don't matter. What matters is you laugh in the face of science and human rights.

Rite of Passage... "Welcome to the Real World - where Myth is Master to Reality".

Good New Year to All...

December 26, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - PART SIX - Let's Talk About Suicide

Who hasn't been "touched" by a suicide? We read about it all the time. We're all on suicide watch - watching out for signs and symptoms in others. But what about us?

Maybe you think now is not the time for a blog about suicide. Then again, when would be a good time?

Now's a perfect time.

In 1980 I got a job as a manager at the local ski-resort. We're talking a good sized resort. On the day they were accepting applications I like hundreds of others submitted our apps. I figured a job as life operator, grounds crew would fit in and be something different. Prior to that I'd been a maintenance guy at a college, and then I'd gone free-style, doing handi-man work.

I got the attention of the resort owner... he wanted to see me right away. He asked me to be the custodial manager... I could hire two workers. Wow. I was 26, and it was 1980... that was a great offer. I accepted.

There were some negotiations before I took the job, health insurance, etc... I hired two women, and we got to work. We made a great team. The hours were 11 - 7AM. It was a seasonal job, but I felt good about it, and what's better, I was a good manager - my two employees liked me and we worked very well together.

Christmas 1980. My employee informs me her husband is missing. A few days later he is found - he hung himself from a door knob at a motel. My employee needs some time off. I tell this to the resort owner. "Absolutely not", he says. I give her plenty already. I give her a seasons ski pass, etc...

Alrighty then...

I'm pissed!!! I try again to explain her husband is DEAD! He doesn't care.

That night i give the woman the bad news... time off declined. I also tell them I'll be throwing in my keys in the morning... that I don't believe it's fair what the owner decided, and that he also reneged on our agreed upon benefits package - I said I was sorry I had to leave, couldn't work for someone like that. I said I wouldn't blame you for quitting either - but neither one could afford to quit.

That morning I threw my keys on the owners desk and said "I quit". He said, "you can't". He really did. I told him he was an asshole! Very insensitive bastard! I said, "I can, and I do."

Soon after I moved to Boston, MA. Started a new life for myself... though "manager" wasn't an option - that bridge was burned.

So you may be thinking that's it...

Hardly.

Suicide it one of those topics we don't like to discuss. My father realized I had it in me from an early age - made me promise I wouldn't kill myself. I haven't. Many times because I promised him I wouldn't and even though now he's dead, I still feel the promise holds. Tempting though it may be at times.

There's nothing to be ashamed about or hide when it comes to suicide. There's a good chance that no matter what you share with others won't prevent you from killing yourself if you so decide. It's your life!

I'm haunted by the suicides of several friends. And friends where they tried but failed.

Community college - mid 1970's to 1979.

I used to love sitting in the college cafeteria... I'd get stuff to eat and never knew what new friends I might meet. It was during the time I was an employee.

One day i'm sitting at a table across from another person - I'm eating alone and we're making small talk. The person is a very attractive woman. And it turns out the wife of a guy i grew up with. Small talk turns more serious when she starts talking about how awkward it is in the body she's in. Being human she explains is uncomfortable. A few weeks later she kills herself. Dead.

Another time I'm in the cafeteria and this woman walks up to me and she stops, looks at me and tells me what beautiful blue eyes I have. Her name is Germaine. She has a European look about her. Short hair, leather vest, French. We become friends. During a conversation with her I ask what she is studying? "Nursing", she answers. But there's a catch. She reveals the reason she's in the nursing program is that when she kills herself she wants to make sure she does it right. Six months later she does it right - in the restroom of the General Hospital, with a 38 cal. revolver.

I have three other friends that killed themselves, and two that failed and are still alive and actually happy.

I alone seem to understand the torment these experiences have ingrained in my soul. At least that's how I feel. Alone.

It hurts still. And so much more that I could say.

Come 2011.... you can rest assured that my voice won't be a single voice. See, there's an advantage to having these experiences, and thinking about it yourself... see I think what we are witnessing as a society is a phenomena where people crack because there really isn't anywhere for them to turn, for help.

Myself... expect some serious blogging about the state of affairs in our society. In every case, suicide was not the answer. Murdering others was not the answer!

The answer is so simple...

See you in 2011.

To Be Continued...

December 25, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - PART FIVE - It Is Christmas

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

I wish it were so... honest. Fact is Christmas is a difficult time for many people. Quite possibly the expectations... but it's really an individual experience, and not one I can sum up for everyone.

I will step out on a limb here and suggest this isn't your average Christmas. I will suggest, many people are coming face to face with both joy and stark reality.

I know of several people who are facing the latter. Despite all the optimistic predictions for the American Middle Class, nothing realistic has happened to improve our current situation. Many people are unemployed, many are either young and entering the work-force for the first time, many are older, like myself, with the stark reality that our future is in doubt. Most predictions don't foresee a recovery until 2020... that's way past the time-frame for people my age to find the final career to complete their end of life ambitions.

Musical Chairs - Where were you when the SHTF???

I was 7 years at my current job actively pursuing a new job... it all fell through.Meaning, I'm lucky to have the job I do have. How do i feel? Not good!!!

The BOOMERS have hit a brick wall...

Rite of Passage... things during the 1970's were pretty well established. Sure, we had Water-Gate, we had congressional hearings on the Viet Nam War and the scandal it represented. We had gas shortages, we had confusion with regards to illegal drug use, courtesy of the 1960's Hippies... We had Elvis Presley shlocking up to Pres. Nixon  asking to be an undercover DEA informant... we had President Nixon, ultimately impeached, disregarding his own intelligence continuing the prohibition of cannabis... WHY! The principal of it. "Fuck the hippies..." was pretty much his attitude.

Then we had President Jimmy Carter... he was in my opinion the best President in years, ever, legalized home brewed beer and wine, and because he felt it was the inalienable right of people to use whatever plant they wished to use, legalized cannabis too. And that should have been the end of the long, disgraceful ban on cannabis, but it wasn't. He was over-ruled on the cannabis.

Then came President Reagan, and his first lady, Nancy Regan... and the "War on Drugs"... "Just Say No..."

The "NO" wasn't directed towards those drugs most dangerous to society - alcohol and tobacco... it was coined in the believe that cannabis was the gateway drug to hard drugs. This despite evidence at the time contradicting such a claim.

What started as Peace and love and acceptance of individual freedom in the 1960's and 1970's, became zero tolerance during the 1980's... became a game of I'm "politically correct, you're not".

It fostered the exact opposite of what began in the 1960's... it fostered intolerance! It enabled fanatics and a strong right wing presence in everyday affairs.

It enabled politics over science, political right over common good. It became the "New World Order", establishing the ideal of a social dichotomy. You're either right or wrong. There is no middle...

John Lennon "had to die"... and for that I am still very sad. He had to die because he represented "Truth, Justice, Liberty for All". He represented a dream... a new life where people aren't discriminated against because they are different, because they don't want to stay on the "merry-go-round" of conformity to the New World Order.

This Christmas... good tidings, but not for all humankind.

Wall-Street has their BIG bonuses back. The Auto Industry is flying high to catch-up. The average person?

SCREWED!!! To put it in perspective. Not very Christmasy, I admit. But it's the truth.

Most people I know we are struggling... and that it won't end anytime soon. That's reality. Doesn't matter that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been repealed... that's simply politics that never should have happened to begin with...

You can call me a "Grinch"... but the fact is, for most, this was not a Happy Christmas, nor will it be for many years to come.

I thought things were bad during the 1970's... little did I realize then what BAD was then, is nothing compared to what BAD is now . 


Despite that - I do wish all my friends, family and on-line friends the best of times... a Happy New Year!

December 22, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - PART FOUR - SHOCKING REVELATIONS

My "Rite of Passage". No ceremony. At age 19 I packed up was remained mine and on a warm rainy night I said good-bye to my parents and moved into my own apartment, and on what I thought was a new road, my road in life. I couldn't have been more mistaken.The "excitement" was just beginning. The adventure, discoveries, knowledge I was about to experience were far beyond anything I could have dreamed or imagined.It was the mid-1970's... the hippies were gone, and no name ever was invented to describe their benefactors - Me and My Generation.

We were different, and as it turned out - hippies didn't just disappear into a legend born of the 60's, they evolved. After all, "WE", grew up and became aware during our teenage years of the hippie movement. Free love, equality, peace, self-awareness, freedom, and oddly enough, patriotism, as in we lived through the Viet Nam war... seeing the tragedy, hearing the shouts of those opposed. WE expected to join the war as it was the kind of war that seemed without end. We were all affected, either through personal tragedy or fear.

Yet, WE continued to believe in the principles that created our country, and although we mis-trusted politicians, we believed that truth would be the victor, and it almost was, when Jimmy Carter was elected President. But our hopes, our work at equality, our dreams were destroyed by the 1980's... the introduction of disco - of the real "ME" generation.

WE were second generation hippies, for all practical purposes. We continued to carry the torch. We felt we learned a lot from generation one. What we hadn't learned, or didn't see coming was the tenacity of the moral majority to see to it that change did not happen. Ah, the moral majority, a myth perhaps. "They'd" prefer to be called the status quo, the "way it is". That if you don't conform, or you don't accept the "rules of engagement in conservative society", you are not one with society.

Many of us held out as long as we could... pushing for truth, justice and liberty for all". We couldn't take credit for ending the Viet Nam War, that was generation one's accomplishment. But we could take free love, the establishment, inner exploration of who we were, and other controversial subjects like nuclear power and the rights of women and minorities to new levels.

And where was I in the midst of all this? Ironically, this shy, conservative, lonely kid who'd been either the underdog or the victim of bullies for years found himself in the forefront of the WE generation.

Based on a book I'd received at age 8, "R is for Rocket" by Ray Bradbury, and many other books after that, I realized after moving out on my own that what i really wanted to do was "get inside". One and 1/2 years of college was not working out... and I knew it. It was an extension of HS and I hated HS. I quit college and decided that what I wanted was to work on "the inside", in a support capacity, at the heart of the educational community. And how could I accomplish that? By getting a job as a custodian at the college. I vowed to apply, and visit the college everyday if need be to get the job. But I didn't have to. I got the job within the month of moving out. Not only did I get the job, but the job was set at the Fine Arts Center. 3PM to 11PM M-F.

If there was a chance of buying into the idea that there is a God, it would have been then that the fact would have been obvious to me. The job was a dream come true, which for many they might find that difficult to comprehend as I cleaned toilets, mopped floors, and essentially was responsible for washing the old building top down.

It was a humble job, with good pay and excellent benefits. I thought my family would be proud of me. I at least thought they would respect the fact that I was working, and not just working, but a full-time employee of a community college.

No such luck!!! Almost immediately my mother made it clear that I was a disgrace to the family, that I going nowhere, that I was someone no one could like.

Amazingly, I took it in stride... sure, it hurt, bad, but I wasn't living home anymore. It was my life. And it's what I wanted.

In the next post I will describe why... but I'll conclude now with the following:

What happened, what my life became, what I aspired towards:

IT wasn't All About Sex!

IT wasn't about any one thing, nor was "my motivation" a deal with the Devil, as some have suggested.

IT wasn't about "being a disgrace to my mother"!

IT wasn't about a "lack of motivation".

IT wasn't about "Drugs".

IT wasn't about "Rebellion".

IT was about being free and living my life and becoming someone. IT was about letting go of the past and moving on. IT was to find happiness and my true love. IT was about finding and embracing me. IT was about helping others!

To be continued...

Happy Christmas!!!

December 19, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - Part Three - NO CEREMONY

SEX!!!

Most of what I remember revolved around sex. It came on for me around age 15... but I didn't begin to "feel" it until around 16. By 18 I was entering my fevered stage... what is commonly called blue balls. It's no joke. It's real.

Meantime, I'm at that age where I've lived with my parents in what we call "home" for 18 years. I graduated High School. In 1972 I could legally drink alcohol and that's what I did. I had a job, was to start college in the fall, even had a girlfriend. And a car. Ideas, hidden dreams, germinating mind-plants sown by thousands of books, and running free as a child exploring everything and everywhere.

I'd survived! I was an adult. Now what???

At age 18 I can honestly say there was absolutely nothing concrete within my grasp - there were only memories of having done most of what was expected of me. I didn't question the "Grand Scheme" of things. I would go to college, get a professional job, get married, buy a house, have kids, be successful. Simple.

So why did I feel nothing?

The reality was I didn't fit... I had no future; I was at a nexus, the past an image of learning, struggling, being bullied. I hadn't even gone to graduation. The whole idea of the event made me anxious... I felt little connection to anyone in my graduating class, and the rehearsal was something from a horror show, the black guy on stage describing how marijuana led him to heroin, and in a stand-off with police he'd swallowed a dozen hypodermic needles used to inject the drug. Then they had Elmo (real name), our school custodian come on-stage, I think simply to thank him for his years of work, and my classmates booed him off the stage - a freakin' janitor, afterall.

Boo, hiss, asshole...

Too much to take... it seemed wrong, the whole show.

I did my college, 1 and 1/2 years of it... worked my job, did what I could to party on the weekends. But it was a no go...

College didn't inspire me. My girlfriend, when I saw her it was at her parents house, always on her couch, fully clothed, making out with closed lips, able to feel her breasts beneath her multiple sweaters... And that was it.Conditions at home worsened as my mother tried harder to impose rules and regulations. Despite their rule that if it was legal I could do it, I had to hide my beer in my room. I liked one beer after work nights. Legal to buy it, had to sneak it in the house, shut myself in my room at night to drink it.

Around age 19 my friends and I, 4 of us, went camping in a state park... we all shared renting a cabin. It was a popular park, lots of people camping. The idea for my friend Bill, and I was to lose our virginity. My other two friends already had. They found it easy to pick-up women in the park. Bill and I not so easy. And it had looked liked we'd failed once again as we walked back to our cabin around 9PM.

A small dog suddenly ran up the into the road, followed by her owner, a reasonably attractive women wearing a halter top. Another woman followed. My friend and i started talking to them... to the one in the halter top I could only think to ask, "I have Oreo cookies at the cabin, would you like some?" She smiled and said "yes"... my friend went off with the other woman. I took my friend to our cabin... remember the strong scent of whiskey on her breath, how her full breast fell out from under the halter top as she laid in my cot. And afterwards... she walked home on her own, because although I'd worn a condom, HS had filled me with gross fears of VD and I was outside washing myself in lots of cold water and soap.

Afterwards I returned home to the same old, to my girlfriend who laid under me on her couch like a cold, closed clam... and in my mind the seeds of discontent were growing...

To be continued...

December 16, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - PART TWO - "Why Are You Rebelling"

On the heels of a previous post, I've had a chance to reflect and write about why we are here, now?

A fellow blogger, commented to a previous post that one's religion or faith would influence their  response to my post. While I believe that is true, I do think it goes much deeper, would even suggest that like physics, there are laws to the origin, current status and the destiny of humankind. Fortunately us humans like to break laws, or find them unjust or ineffective, or worst, more harmful that any crime the law is meant to correct.

An example, and back to Rite of Passage, books banned over time. Naturally this became a issue after the printing press was created. The history of publishing companies would be interesting, something I already know a lot about.

Around age 20, living on my own and working full-time as a custodian at the local college, the Fine Arts Center, in fact, I was profoundly confused; about sex. My upbringing strongly sheltered and directed my thoughts on the subject. One benefit from working at a community college was after hour access to professors, in a friendly manner, and the fact we worked for the same company - I belonged.

I made two great friends during the 3 years I worked at the job. Both were English professors, bot uniquely opposite each other. In this installment let's look at prof. Doug. A tall, lean guy with gray hair; He'd been teaching many years... He knew his books. When I broke down and asked him about sex, he replied, "I remember Henry Miller wrote an excellent book on the subject - "The 'Land of Fuck' or something like that". Couldn't be the title of the book, no way. But something in the book?

I found my answer in his trilogy, "The Rosy Crucifixion", "Sexus, Plexus, Nexus". (See my media list).

What I also found was that if this had been prior to 1962, my reading these books would have been a criminal act. Much like cannabis (marijuana) has been for the past 70+ years. These books, many that today we consider to be the finest literature, were banned, against the law. They were published mostly in France, some in Britain, and sold in paper bags on street corners in the US. People went to jail for having or producing these books. That really struck a key, given my fondness for cannabis at the time.

I found my answer to sex, and it was so simple, but it did take time. It all came down to women are people too. One could have sex as friends, consensual and intimate. Women it turned out liked sex too. Of course at my age then, men needed it more than women... it's complicated.

When I finally did find my sexual self, I found listening to a woman, really listening, was key. And then, I would simply ask, "would you like to have sex?" The answer wasn't always yes. And the most desired not interested. Or so i had thought. A story for another day.

I found intimacy was simply a a level of behavior that "macho man" didn't grasp at all. I also discovered, Human beings relate in mysterious ways. Once I gained confidence in myself, I found women asking me out. Between 21 and 24 I was loving life... with a few exceptions.

Most notably, family. My father often asked me "why was I rebelling?" To which I never had an answer since I didn't feel that I was rebelling. Yet I knew, what he was asking was, "why are you not conforming to what we expect you to do?" The odd thing was, my father encouraged my newfound self, my mother, can't say that she did. In fact, I made her very unhappy, and she made no bones about it. My phone rang daily for several years, then slowed down a bit. The family dinners i went to on Sundays became more hostile. I made the mistake only once bringing my girlfriend with me to the family Sunday dinner, and my mother embarrassed me... afterall, in the 1970's the woman I was with was considered a "slut". My father was proud. My mother was disgraced. To further offend her, was my job as a custodian at the college. To me a dream come true. To my mother, shame and a sense of utter failure as a parent.

To say that my feelings and sense of wellbeing was torn, is an understatement. My father encouraged me, my mother was the saddest person on the planet.

Another advantage of working at the college was free counseling with a registered therapist. I took advantage of the benefit. It provided incentive to research the human condition. I always was a voracious reader... but now I found reading to be necessary for survival.

To Be Continued...

December 11, 2010

RITE OF PASSAGE - PART ONE - INTRODUCTION

It's taken me awhile to get used to blogging, and to find a way back to the person I was when I loved to write. I'm not there yet, completely, and never will be... I'm 56 now, not 18. A lot has changed and a lot remains the same.

This topic is dedicated toward young adults age 18 - 25 in America. It is directed towards all adults... Parents, Generations X Y and Z... and especially those adults who are in a position to "influence and direct" the minds of young adults as they go through that critical transformation from child to adult.

I was 18 years of age in 1972. The era of the hippie was over. The Viet Nam War ended August 31, 1972 - that is as far as the draft is concerned. The war actually extended into a few more years after that. But to me, the long war had ended. A very unpopular war. A war that influenced me pretty much from 1964 to 1972.

And then came the victims... I was just entering the work-force... and "In The News" were Viet Nam Vets entering the work force. Somehow the fact that the war was so controvercial and unpopular spilled over to onto Viet Nam Veterans. I think it is historically tragic and something not to be forgotten, that the veteran at that time was in many ways considered a co-conspirator, a government puppet who voluntarily involved himself and herself in an "unjust war", a war that was "wrong".

These veterans ages 18 - 25 found themselves returning home to an atmosphere of hostility, changes, radicalism, and hostile feelings towards the government they served. It created the momentum for what came to be when I turned 18 in Sept. of 1972. It needs to be clarified these veterans I refer to were returning all though the latter 1960's... their influence on me were at the time a laser inscribed feeling of doubt, about our government. And fact was, I didn't question authority nor our government my whole life as a child and teenager. I was a conformist all the way. But by age 18, my feelings and concerns began to undergo change.

I graduated HS at age 18 right on schedule. The following fall 1972 I found myself in the local community college pursuing a Associates Degree in Electrical Technology (an Associate of Science degree). I loved electronics - still do, and at the time since I had to chose a major, electronics was it. Problem was - I was bad at math, but to sidestep that issue I began my courses with those not involving math, or at least, not dedicated to math. They included physics, of which I completed two semester of it, basic low voltage electrical design and basics. I really don't remember much from that time except physics. It was way out there, but fortunately a security guard who worked at the same dept store I worked at, who was in my physics class , well, we worked together, and I remember spending hours on the phone at night with him working together to solve our assignments.

The key to all of this, what I've just written, is to understand this was me, prior to my Rite of Passage. At the time I was ultra-conservative, conformist and I didn't question much. I truly believed the world had order, logical order, especially our own country. I went from HS to College because i had to. It was expected I would. I didn't however join our church after three years of Confirmation Courses. I grew up in a Protestant, Zion Covenant  Church - going most Sundays to Church. My mother controlled that aspect of my life. My father wasn't into organized religion - he rarely went to church with my mother, and us children. That fact set up an interesting dichotomy within our family. Why did my sister and I have to go to church when my father didn't?

Choice!!!

Freedom of...

By age 18 I was ready to move out on my own, but I didn't. I worked at a chain dept store... part-time. I went to college during the day. I lived home. I knew it felt good that public school was over. It took at least a year for that to be realized. But between age 18 through 20 or 21, my future was pretty much undefined.

It should be noted I was a voracious reader growing up... and quite inquisitive. I had microscopes, chemistry sets, electronic design and radio kits, and books - lots of books, mostly sci-fi... and mysteries...

I felt unconfortable in my chosen college curriculum of electrical tech - as much as I liked sciences, it didn't feel like me. But I had no way of knowing why. So until the Fall of 1974 I lived home, went to college and worked part-time. Had a girlfriend with hardly any intimacy, nor do I remember ever doing anything with her - we met through her cousin I worked with. I think that was during 1972, and lasted until 1974.

A side piece: I had this 1968 Ford Mustang at the time, something that in the annuls of history on Earth represents a major victory and a most unique opportunity. The 1968 Mustang at the time was one of the best motor cars out there, albeit, it was the runt of the litter. For a "runt", it was quite the car!

I bought the Mustang in 1971 with a bank loan.  It had a 3-spd standard transmission, and torque the likes we can't begin to imagine today. The Mustang's 289ci-V8 engine was one of the smallest, high performance engines out there. Loved that car. I did have frequent problems with the car, meaning the FORD slogan at the time fit in well with my enjoyment: FORD - "Fix or repair daily".

I used to take that Mustang off-road, down class 5 roads... into the snow... as it was unlikely with snow tires that one would get stuck... and although simply rear-wheel drive, the combination of horse-power and torque available from that 289-V8 engine could easily provide the power to dig out of the worst conditions.

More on this car in the next post.

At age 18 it should be remembered I could legally go to a bar or store and buy alcohol. Which I did; however, one problem - I couldn't drink much. Over two beers max I'd get sick. I couldn't tolerate alcohol well, unlike my friends who could easily drink 1 -2 six packs each, whenever.They often drove the roads in NY state drunk with beer, looking for girls looking to get picked up. They found them... me... I would often try to compete with my friends and remain on location throwing up! We liked our weekend camping.

Between age 18 and 21 I was pretty much a lemur... I had friends but had no place to "fit in". I went to college, and otherwise was a loner working in a room in my attic on electronics or chemistry. My isolation deepened when i found I couldn't compete with my friends. When I found myself questioning why was I in college getting this degree? I really didn't want to be in college. I wanted time.

The following comes with a warning: Within Christian theology is the story of Adam and Eve. In the story a woman, Eve, is influenced by a snake to eat of the one fruit that God has forbade them to eat. Eating of such fruit, describing the experience may be offensive to some... so please do not continue beyond this point if you feel uncomfortable with graphic depictions of actual events.

NEXT: Rite of Passage: Why Are You Rebelling?...

December 10, 2010

THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO ADULT HIGHS - Part Two

I admit... there's no way I can write a blog including all the ways adults get high. The reason is quite simple; we humans are organisms with chemicals that take the form of hormones, proteins, DNA, etc, and it becomes our life. The idea of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" is as impossible to achieve as it is to write the Comprehensive Guide to Adult Highs. The reason: the "Human Condition".

Humanity is essentially a species bent on survival. We do whatever it takes, and if we can't survive, we don't. And others learn...

No matter how much we like to think of ourselves as a civilized entity, aware and advanced in human nature and sciences and religions, we remain different, isolated, unique.We form relationships, some purely primordial, others advanced with considerable insight, knowledge and a sense of union. We get married - a sacred oath handed down over thousands of years. Yet, few of us knows what it means, and many never get the chance or aren't interested in understanding.

Fact is, "marriages come and go, divorce is forever..." heard that on NPR tonight.

Friendships come and go... although many of these can last a person's lifetime. That's extraordinary, something truly civilized, yet, we can't say it's unique to humans... animals develop lifelong friends too; in fact, many animals mate for life, without a ritual to make it so. Why do humans need to "make it so?"

I question these things, and am cursed as a result. Being inquisitive is not a bad thing, however, history has many inquisitive persons that didn't last long in life. And others learn...

One of the things many of us learn is that life can have moments that provide "a rush". We call that "getting high". It could be exercise, could be sex, maybe the trip of a lifetime, whether legitimate travel to the place of your dreams, or a trip on LSD, peyote or magic mushrooms.

Humans have learned... they have learned ways to forget that "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit..." is quite literally a myth. The wealthiest people can be quite depressed, and unhappy. The happiest couple can secretly be miserable and living on the edge of insanity. We live and evolved from a species that gained self-awareness and has pondered the questions we all ask ourselves daily, with few answers, and many theories.

It is only natural, to seek escape sometimes, in the arms of another, in a crime against humanity, in smoking pot. All three of those actions are vastly different, and there a millions of other options to add to the list. As a result, our societies evolve to control the highs... in years past and maybe in the near future, religion did, and may figure in as a dominate means to control the highs. For now, governments seek to control them. And families. And organizations.

I don't need to explain how they attempt to do this. It would be futile anyways as our perception of the control is dependent on our own system of beliefs. The stories we're told and we believe in, the propaganda he are subjected to, or the scientific knowledge we gain, and true enlightenment.

In the end, we are still all unique entities... we make choices, have beliefs and dreams, have experiences that we learned from, and now we need to fit in. We need to fit in where we live. If we don't, our dreams and life could be taken away. And even if we do, our life could be be taken away.

Getting high is not in itself a bad thing. But it is a nearly unlimited scale of options, and each responds differently. There's the dancer, who loves to dance, so much she gets a job as a stripper, and soon, she is murdered.

There is the guy who found himself from smoking a plant called marijuana... who found his life, but it didn't fit in with what was expected of him, and it was taken away.

There is the serial killer, the jealous lover who gets a rush ending the life of some"thing", a person, because they can.There is the attorney general of a state that gets off on strong words condemning prostitution, that loves to be with prostitutes - and gets discovered. Presidents that lie, and proclaim: " I am not a crook." But hours of private tapes that prove otherwise.

There are friends, very close friends, a group of friends that in late teens find themselves locked in a struggle - when one of their friends does something that makes them an outcast, and options that escalate that combine letting go to getting revenge.

I sit here tonight pretty much defeated. Technology is advancing way beyond what i ever imagined and my job is in technology. Yet at 56, there is no way I can keep up. The only thing I can be thankful of is I'm still employed, underpaid, but employed. The other hours of my life - I write this blog, I fix things that keep malfunctioning, and I realize soon, maybe in ten or twenty years I may not be able to do it anymore. In fact, I wonder if I will be able to in a year!?

I have no significant other, am not a bad guy, just eccentric. I used to do well when I had my cannabis... but since turning 50 have given it up for alcohol and tobacco. I am told it is my choice... yet, that contradicts my own liberty guaranteed under my Country's Constitution...  the essence of freedom.  I have three legal choices... nothing, alcohol and tobacco. I'm urged to accept and practice "nothing". My question is, is that a choice or an ultimatum?

If it comes to hurting other human beings that is obviously not a choice and that deprives other human beings of their life. When it comes to who we chose to be intimate with, what we smoke that God gives us, or what we eat... that is a rather different question. Don't you agree? Are we to be told what God to worship? Are we to be told what high that doesn't cause harm, or on a scale of harm we are permitted to do, or punished if we chose something else?

I can't write a comprehensive guide to what adults do to get high. The late David Carradine apparently liked ropes... shall we outlaw rope? We outlaw prostitution, shall we outlaw the dolls of the future that will be the sex partners to millions of lonely people - sex dolls with artificial awareness close to or exceeding that of our human counterparts? Probably should... as we still don't have a government that recognizes of pets - cats and dogs as legitimate members of our families.

I end with the verbal picture of a father playing with his kids. The hormones are peaking as he shoots hoops or plays baseball with them. He is high... he doesn't realize it, but he is.... he is high on happiness. This is a very good thing. Should we arrest him?

Should the Pope dictate that "good Christians" do not practice safe sex? Should we not eradicate every drug yielding plant on the planet so Big Pharma can control our medicinal requirements?

Getting high is a part of life. Having the right to chose with the exception of harming others is an inalienable right. That is the Comprehensive Guide to Adults Getting High". I call it freedom... others call it anarchy. 

The 2012 election for a new president will be interesting as the far right plans to clobber the left and finally make this country God's chosen country. Strict family morals and mores will be forced upon society. The Democratic party will be squashed, and the republicans will become the overloads. America will become the true land of the free Right. The Tea-Party will get their wish - a one party, Christian state... walls everywhere build to keep out the heathens.Witchcraft will once again become illegal and punishable by death, and the children will watch and learn.

The Church of Well Fargo, Bank of America, Walmart will reign supreme. A thousand years from now we will bestow sainthood on George W. Bush. The liberator. Mission completed!

All fantasy of course... or is it?

Tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans if the middle class is going to get them.To Hell with the deficit... the tea-Party saw to it that Republicans got elected to government... and for what? To protect the wealthy and prevent the change President Obama vowed to bring about. For the average American the Republicans have been anything but hostile to anything that would benefit the middle class or those beneath. Their high is a corporate controlled America... and the so called Tea-Parties just invited the KING to once again occupy the throne

One problem... the flag of "Don't Tread On Me" isn't yours alone. You're misguided in believing that.

A question for Sarah Palin: What religion did Adam and Eve belong to?  Simple question I'm sure you can answer. They knew God, but what under what religion? Under what religion is America tied to? You claim America is God's "chosen land", but what God? Our money since the 1950's has the motto "In God We Trust". What God is that? Can one not believe that Nature is that God and we as a society commit sins daily against Nature? Just curious - doubt you've given it much thought though.

But again: What religion were Adam and Eve a member of? When they were evicted from the Garden, how did they survive without religion? They, like myself, were cursed.

Why were they cursed - Eve discovered marijuana and smoked it. She shared it with Adam. They became aware. And we all know, given the recent Wikileaks fiasco that awareness is a "bad thing".

Think about it... that's all I ask.


December 05, 2010

THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO ADULT HIGHS - Part One

What gets you high?

NOTE: When I say "comprehensive" I mean it. This topic will include all the various ways adults get high. Some clarification of what I mean when I say "adult". To use tobacco, model nude, view adult nudes one must be 18 years of age or older. To consume alcoholic products one must be 21 or older. To commit murder, rape, or any kind of assault to get off - get high on hurting others, and be considered an adult, you would generally be age 18 or older. To be an "adult" you are therefore between the ages of 18-21, or older.




When comparing cats and humans, getting high is vastly different. A cat gets high hunting prey that it instinctively eats, or they get high from catnip, or that tasty morsel of chicken or tuna you may provide to them. A black cat for example does not get off on crossing your path and scaring you because you're superstitious... they have no idea they're scaring you. 


Humans get off, or high, on a myriad of various activities, some legal, some not. The human mind itself is essentially a high. Waking up in the morning can get one high... and consider that our own bodies manufacture THC, the chemically controversial psychoactive chemical found in cannabis that is a high to many politicians and the DEA. Yes, our own bodies manufacture THC... look it up yourself - it is an essential part of our existence. 


When I say this is a comprehensive list of human highs, I mean the following will examine all of them. I will also attempt to describe the reasons why they are a high to humans. 


The list is not in alphabetic order, nor in order of legality, harm, risk or any other type of sorting. This is a blog, not a dissertation. I will attempt to be as organized and objective as possible. I figure to cover all the various ways human-beings get high will take around 5 posts. So get yourself prepared for everything you always wanted to know about getting high, but never dared to ask!


1) HARM TO OTHERS:
If there ever was a topic that could be considered a "can of worms", this is it. There should be little doubt there are those persons that get off hurting others, dominating others, threatening others. There are bullies... there are those who truly believe they are superior to others, that believe their influences and control of others is just. And they get high from it. To further explore this high, or understand it would require a single post alone. For now I'm going to simply going to list it. Other sub-categories exist, which I may deal with independently, such as "sexual intimidation". This type of high is very complex and insidious; essentially it is a consequence of the societies belief that "man dominates women". It has Christian origins in that in the Bible, in Genesis, Eve seduced Adam, and Eve was double-cursed by God, thereby making Eve subservient to man, and subject to his control. But that is hardly the whole picture, as other religions have similar histories, validating man's control over women. There is little in the way of controversy as to man getting off on the domination of women, and the reasons that validate this control. The fact is, no amount of validation justifies man's dominion over women, nor harmful acts towards women. 


2)  Being of superior race, family, ideology.
The obvious root of this high comes from the believe that "whites are superior to blacks", that again, "men are superior to women", that wealthy and politically elite are superior to the average person. It's a "high" that needs further investigation. It is evident in the fact that certain government agencies get off on the fact they have "powers" beyond established law and often in violation of an individuals personal rights. Again, an entire post could be devoted to this high.


3) Laws are Made to be Broken
This is a topic of ironic proportions. Simply put... individuals decide what laws to obey and what to break. The most obvious is exceeding the speed-limit on the road, talking on a cell-phone where such an act is illegal, not wearing a seat-belt when the state law requires it. People get "high" breaking such laws... I commute 3 and 1/2 hours a day M-F and I see it all. Few people conform to laws they feel are conditional, and speeding with a object weighing in at one ton or over is not considered a crime... they get high driving at a speed they enjoy.


4) Executives involved in safe-guarding and protecting the investments of client.
Yes, I talking about Wall St., corporate executives, and banks. They get high ripping off their consumers. Credit card companies, pay day lenders, get high charging excessive rates for credit, and encouraging and enticing consumers to fall prey to their predatory acts. Example: I got a deal with a credit card company with a 2% percent balance transfer option. I have good credit, that's why it was offered to me. To make a purchase however is in the range of 16.9%. So I have simply not made any purchases, but rather have been paying off my balance transfer. Recently I received a invitation to use the credit to make purchases at the 16% rate and earn "cash-back" when using the card to make purchases. The catch - it's 1% cash back until I charge over $4000 in purchases, at which point my cash-back jumps to 4%. 


No thank-you!!! I'm sure the credit card company would get a rush if I charged up that much money... but I surely wouldn't. 


Part One Conclusion: 


Maybe you thought "THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO ADULT HIGHS" would be about "drugs". Sorry if I initially disappoint you. The key here is "comprehensive..."


There are many ways adults get "high".


Getting stoned on cannabis is the least of the highs.


Next time: Wait and see...

December 03, 2010

WHY ARE WE HERE? PART SIX (Conclusion)

Another late night! I should be in bed by 10; instead, Thursday nights especially, I watch "Fringe", on TV, so I'm up until 10 already.

Next, charged from an hour of "Fringe", I realize I haven't eaten. But first, I have another beer, and play a game of online Texas hold'em... I place first, out of 10.

Nice!

Now it's 11PM. I finally put my dinner in the microwave. By 11:30 I'm eating and working on this next installment of "Why Are We Here?"

In my last post on this topic, a comment from a reader implied a reader"s religious faith would influence their opinion. He's correct, I believe, but it's not something I consider writing.

I'm open to thoughts on the subject, but with this "truth" comes the question: "What is Faith?"

Why are we here, and with all the faiths there are, how to accept each other? May seem impossible if you consider it. IF, you consider it!

My one moral is "Don't Hurt Others". Wonder what that means?

I wonder IF believing that would have made me ineligible for the draft back in the 1970's, IF the Viet Nam War had not ended? I doubt it. Back then, being gay wasn't even remotely a subject one would admit to. Instead, back then, I know people who cut off fingers and toes so as to be ineligible. And much worse.

Just something to think about... again, I'm not gay; but I empathize with their plight. Just as, my being a cannabis affentionato, makes me - a closet case. (Notice to the DEA and local LE - I'm 56, and a recluse... where would I get my pot from? I wouldn't. So don't waste your time. Go after some college student smoking pot in their dorm... SWAT team recommended, as you never know what those "pot-heads" are capable off - they may be zonked out. Bring assault guns!)

Reality Check...

Last I knew I was a "slimy slug"... well, you know, I have those days.

I get to read the news on my job... probably not supposed to, but I do. Sure is a lot of tragedy, crime, missing persons, terrorists, fanatics, murders and war... tragedy.

Given my experiences, my education, it puts me in a difficult position.

I mean, here I am writing five posts now on the topic of "why we - WE are here?" I mean, what could I know about that? For years I used cannabis... my mind must be "fried" by now. Most of what i say must sound like babble, or rantings of a madman. How odd I'm still employed, making a decent income while around me millions are faced with a brick wall! Yeah, I complain. My job was once my greatest hope, but it, quite frankly sucks now. There are overwhelming obstacles to advancement... something 5 years ago that wasn't there, only I didn't know it then. Like everyone else, I took my environment pretty much for granted. Not completely, but pretty much.

The truth is, I don't have a clue as to why "we're here." I can only write about why I'm here. And it's a story I'm not sure I can tell... see, it really does come down to "FAITH". I can tell my story, but it's likely to be interpreted based on your "faith".

It goes back to what I was saying about reality, and how it is subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet we constantly compromise. That's life. Compromise, or not.

Live Free or Die... ?

A question we all have to answer within ourselves