Sloppy Snape and Sad Sex

Tonight’s the night we’ll make history.
Honey, Jen and I.
’cause we’ll, by any means, give you a pleasant time,
and stay with you here tonight…

…except I drank a glass of Lagunitas Hop Stoopid (9% abv West Coast IPA), 2 bottles of Founders Backwoods Bastard (11.6% abv bourbon barrel aged ale), and a cup of Nighttime Theraflu (100% guarantee of a slow sleepy slide into cognitive-linguistic oblivion, unless you sneeze like Gary.  Or Jen. AHHHHH….HEEEEYYYYYYYY!)…

…so…

a gathering of Angels appeared above my head.
They sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said:
They said, “Come sail away. Come sail away. Come sail away yinz guys.”

Fun times.

What else happened?

Alan Rickman died, and I wield Snape’s wand for the evening. Additionally, I used the Sherriff of Nottingham’s spoon to stir my TheraFlu. (Why a spoon, cousin?)

Any other topics?

Yep.

  1. Who is the least appealing of the Spice Girls? (Earthy Spice)
  2. Jen already makes amazing chocolate chip cookies. This has been confirmed by hundreds of unbiased humans across the past 10 years. Tonight, she creates an oatmeal cookie…and we’re generally not oatmeal cookie people…that is revelatory. How can that be? (Jen’s a baking alchemist. The Severus Snape of the oven. Domo Arigato, Ms. Spatulotto.)
  3. Can a man ejaculate while flaccid? (Yes.)
  4. Is it a sad, unsatisfying endeavor? (Always.)
  5. What’s said man’s history of mistake-sex followed by dramatic fall-out and compounded self-loathing as a percentage of total partners? (50)
  6. Is it impossible to keep an alias straight when utterly intoxicated? (Absolutely)

You should really listen to this one.

That’s it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas. We present to you, “Sloppy Snape and Sad Sex.”

P.S.  If it wasn’t obvious from the first several paragraphs AND the associated links, this podcast is a Styx sandwich, with “The Best of Times” at the beginning and “Come Sail Away” at the end.  I wrote it once and I’ll write it again…fun times.

alan rickman

 

 

I Feel Old

Some days, I can’t wring an original idea of out my head and onto this digital piece of paper.  By the way, I can’t deal with the other page views on Microsoft Word (MSW).  For those over 40, if you look to the toolbar just below your MSW work area you’ll notice, on the right, several icons through which you can change the “view” of your document.  I need the thing onto which I’m typing to look like an actual 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.  That’s “Print Layout.”  I feel unsettled when I’m not staring at what appears to be a piece of paper…presumably coming out of a typewriter.  (Shit, if there were a setting that allowed the keys to clack and the keyboard to rattle like a mechanical typewriter, I might go that route.  And to not annoy people around me, I’d use a low-vibrate mode with headphones…which is, perhaps, what she said.)  Oh, and don’t let the digital piece of paper on the screen be at any zoom level other than 100%, which is the size at which my 41 year old brain settles in and feels that all is right in the world. Also, I can’t deal with 10 or even 11 point font anymore.  I’ll compromise at 12-point but refuse to toggle up even though my bifocal-less glasses are no longer fully sufficient for my bifocal-less eyes.

Yeah, so I feel old today.

And apparently the obsessive-compulsive portions of my brain are idling high as well.

Earlier, I listened to the song, “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and on an emotionally dangerous whim I checked the date of release.  Spring, 1991.  25 years ago.  And when it came out I was well on my way to adulthood already.  In the video, Will Smith, quite fresh in his princely-ness, looks precisely like his son Jaden looks today, a little fuzzy creature of a mustache below his nose and the awkward attempt at a beard bemoaning its very presence just at the bottom of his chin.  Today, Jaden Smith is the age I was when his Father’s quintessential hit…hit.  See, there comes a point, particularly for those of us who are just a few ticks south of an identifiable disorder, when we start doing this weird, self-debilitating, sabermetric age-math.  It’s a total mind-fuck…and I’m apparently addicted to it.  Here’s another one, in September I’ll be 42, exactly double the legal drinking age.  That weirds me out.  Quite.  There will be humans stumbling and bumbling through their first legal night out at the bars who were born on the day when I found myself stumbling and bumbling at the end of my first legal night out at the bars.  In 1995.  And oh what a night that was.  Shots.  Large drinks.  Small drinks.  Other people’s drinks.  Drinks that coagulated in my mouth.  Drinks that wrought havoc in my throat on the way down.  Drinks that wrought double havoc on the way back up.  And near the very end of it all, I ended up outside of The Electric Banana.  Do you remember The Electric Banana?  Like “for real,” experientially remember?  Not just, “Oh, yeah, my parents drove me past that dirty-looking place with a 15-foot banana placard above an irreparably dented door when we went to my doctor’s appointments in Oakland.”  That’ll tell you how old YOU are.  Anyway, I refused to get out of the car, so my friends popped in and told Mr. Zarra about their predicament.  So this loud, gravel-voiced, intimidating Italian man burst out into the crisp September air.  Think Danny Devito’s character, Frank, from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” but bigger, scarier, and swearier.  “You fucking pussy.  Get the fuck out of the car. I’ll kick you pansy ass.  Now!!  Get the fuck out!”  This was the father of our friends.  He literally dragged me in, where Judy, his wife, made me a Rude Judy.  I remember little of what happened from that point forward.  The Rude Judy was an extra-large, extra-sweet, and extra-boozy punk-rock liter of mind obliteration.  “I’m hungry,” I’m told I announced.  “I want pizza.”  “We don’t’ have no fuckin’ pizza left,” Mr. Zarra shouted me down.  “We got jalapeno wrapped hot dogs.”

“Gimme two.”

And like an almost-alcohol-poisoned Kobayashi, I’m told I ate them in approximately 4 bites.

You see where this is going.

On the way home, my friend Matt was forced to stop twice for me to hurl burning bile and the liquified detritus of the evening over the roads of greater Pittsburgh…and all over the outside of the car.  I was present enough to not vomit in the car, head hanging out of the full-open passenger side window.  When Matt dropped me off at home, he said…and for some reason this is the only thing I remember clearly, the only thing that didn’t need to be told to me several days later, the only thing that makes me laugh to this day, “I’d say you have a lovely house, but I can’t see it.”

1995.

And this September, someone will have their Mr. Zarra moment, someone will be goaded into doing a cement mixer even though they know what will happen, someone will vomit all over the outside, and likely the inside, of their designated driver’s car.

I’ll be 42.  Unable to read small print without looking under my glasses.  Unwilling to do shots because I’m a grown-up, and I sip my spirits classily.

Well fuck all that.

There’s something about “Summertime” being 25 years old, something about Jaden Smith being 17 and looking just like his 26-old-father from 1991 (…which also speaks to Will Smith’s youthful complexion and demeanor even then…), something about the fact that all of the “famous” people turning 21 this year are entirely unknown to me…and I’m a fairly hip, pop-culture-embedded 41-year-old.

It’s been said that age ain’t nothin’ but a number.

Today, I’m calling bullshit on that.

Today, I feel every bit of 41 years, 4 months, 11 days, 11 minutes, and however many seconds it’s taken me to type this line.

(Fucking Rain Man, I tell you.)

(“Mm-hm, ‘course…three minutes to Wapner.”)

(“You’ll make it Raymond.”)

(“Yeah.  Definitely.”)

THAT movie was released a little over 27 years ago.

Jesus, do I feel old today.

Click.

Clack.

Ching!

-G

bananapb7
(The Electric Banana, with source)

This Jawn’s On Fleek

Yo, this jawn is hilarious.

Finally, we get Maddy on a podcast, along with her friend Sydney, and they’re absolutely hilarious.  Them jawns was killing it, if you know what I’m saying. (#squadgoals)

Oh, you don’t.

Urban Dictionary’s top definition of “Jawn” states: Jawn is a word used by Philly cats to describe anything and everything. NY cats interject with the word “joint” but it doesn’t convey the same feelings.  Here are the example phrases, offered by “Jay Sticky (ooowee!!),” with inconsistent punctuation, vernacular, and big words included:

you see that car? that jawn was hot.
you was at Keisha’s jawn last night?
when them planes flew into that jawn, it exploded!!
you heard that new jawn by B.Seigs & Freeway?
i hit this one jawn in my trunk, nigga!!
nah, i was at the jawn when she came by.

As is always the case with Urban Dictionary, the additional definitions and examples illuminate the “word” in question and bring non sequitur and sidesplitting humor.  So…

Jawn, definition 3, offered by the quaintly monikered “eatshitniggahh”: A word used in Philadelphia to describe any noun whose appropriate word could not be recalled by the brain in the necessary time. You can tell the general education level of the user of said word by how many times they use it in a sentence.

And the example? yo i went to that jawn down at the plat, yo there were like 6 jawns down there man you shoulda whipped out the ’97 jawn picked up a couple jawns and came down, pussy

Jawn, definition 5, with example, from the rather mundane but incredibly succinct and ultimately amusing “jhani”: Any person place or thing. (Actual quote…. ” i put my jawn in the jawn, and some jawn took that jawn, and now my jawn is gone”)

So…jawn.

We start with the jawns.  Uhh…beers.

First, we had Lagunitas Bitter Oats.  Big, delicious, bitter, and full bodied.  That jawn was outstanding.

Next, a take on the half-and-half using Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Lindemann’s Frambois.  Quite delicious.  (I think we’ve found the key to Jen’s adoration of stouts, which is to create beer combinations with Belgian fruit ales.)

We continue with Maddy inadvertently teaching Greg the urban youth term that he will pile drive into your ears as he’s already jackhammered into your consciousness.  This jawn is most certainly on fleek.

Here we experience Jen, Maddy, and Sydney all messing with Greg like a cirque du soleil of relentless sarcasm.  Go ahead, name that show!  (Circque du sarcasme presents: Relentless)

Here Jen gets her driver’s licence back, opens a gift of fancy-ass rooster moccaloshes.  (Or would it be golaccasins?)

Here Maddy proves she’s super ghetto with her grocery request.

And we close with tortoise genitalia, or the lack there of.

Oh…the music.  The intro music is by an artist named Jon Chan who goes by the name, and I shit you not, JAWN.  This is his beautiful song, “Fade to Black.”  (And as Jon indicates in the description, “This jawn is not a metallica tribute.”) [The italicized lingo is obviously added]

The outro is, “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  Why?  As if that question is even necessary.  But here’s why.  Them boys is from Philly, that jawn is still smokin’ hot 25 years later(…that’s right, let it sink in…”Summertime” dropped in 1991…), and on a day like today, in the midst of Winter storm Jonas Brothers, don’t you wish it was Summertime right about now?  Burnin’ up and shit as you Escape with your Caribbean Queen, drinking something with lime and coconut?  Taking in the evening Summer BreezeHot fun in the Summertime, sailing with your easy lover as you see the Southern Cross for the first time?  I wish.

Have fun…we present to you, “This Jawn’s On Fleek.”

 

 

jawn
#squadgoals

It’s the Anxiety

Recently, I had one of those evenings through which insights bombarded me like a tidal wave of loving enlightenment.  I should note, at the outset, that I was pleasantly buzzed, well fed, and had absolutely nothing on my logistical or emotional plate other than hanging with my wife and ultimately the prospect of marital romance followed by a full night’s unadulterated sleep with no necessary wake-up time.  Furthermore, I’d exercised and meditated earlier in the day, and my brain was wide open.

As I sat in the living room, I made a comment regarding my step-daughter.  Jen called back in partial agreement with an elaboration.  Typically, I would reflexively apologize, justify my comment as if I’d been accused of something, argue, or some combination of all three.  This time, I processed and integrated Jen’s comment for what it was…a comment and thoughtful expansion of our conversation…then articulated the insight that slapped me in the face.  “You know what I would’ve typically done there…,” and closed with, “Why was I able to figure that out there?”

“It’s the anxiety.”

My brain cracked open, allowing the comment to seep through the surface.

A bit later, we were discussing acquaintances about whom I’d typically rant and judge.  Instead, I found a path toward understanding, compassion, and empathy.  And it hit me again.  “Why was I able to get there right then?”

“You’re not feeling insecure.”

The crack widened, and the realization spread.

My interactions with Jen throughout the night were kind, positive, understanding, fun-loving.  Never did anger, frustration, or temper-driven shortness enter my speech or behavior.

“Why am I nicer tonight?

“You’re not worried.”

Later yet, I was playing with our Springer Spaniel, Kate, who has always been fine-tuned to our moods and interactions.  As a puppy and dog-toddler, she would cower and soil the carpet if she sensed my anger or frustration (…and I certainly didn’t have a handle on it then, as many of you have read in early D2D posts…), and if she found one of us crying or otherwise sad & down she would climb, cling, and kiss.  To this day, she’ll get a read on who needs what and when then find ways to offer comfort.  Typically when we play, she’ll bring toys to me to throw, but then will quickly shift away because, honestly, often I’m less “playful” and more dickish and/or dominant, a la Caesar Milan.  This time, she returned to me time and time again, dropping the toy, trusting me to align my interactions with her mood.  I matched her silly, mildly-frenetic energy and interacted more equitably rather than shifting to dominance.

“Jesus!”  I claimed, now fairly aware of where I was going, “Why can I play better with the dog?”

“It’s the anxiety.”

My brain was fully open.

Worry.  Anxiety.  Insecurity.  These are all semantic variations on the same bitter neurochemical cocktail that apparently courses through my body more frequently than not.

With it, I am shorter-tempered, less-patient, less-kind, unforgiving, untrusting, and consistently self-doubting…at times self-loathing.

Without it, I am precisely the person I want to be.

Certain contexts, certain endeavors, certain substances, certain people, and indeed the combination of all four, allow me the self-aware arrival in that state of existential and relationship bliss.

Amazing.

It’s the anxiety.

And without it, there’s enlightenment.  True joy.

Find the contexts, the endeavors, the substances, the people with whom you are happiest, nicest, most self-accepting self-aware…and then fill yourself with them at every opportunity.

-G

Inside Out
“Inside Out,” is a really, really, really good movie.

Quadrupels, Cupcakes, & Cranberry Juice Cocktails

Here we are, well into 2016 and not nearly finished writing 2015 on checks and administrative forms.

This lovely podcast occurred in the warm (quite warm), waning days of 2015…on an evening in which Greg decided to make cranberry juice and his unpredictable neurochemistry decided to toggle in the mildly bipolar manner that it often swings.

This can be frustrating for Jen.  However, when the toggle moves from draggy and depressed to frenetic and happy it’s ultimately amusing for Greg and anyone not living with him.  Like you, dear listener.  So have fun!

Whilst Greg boils a pound of cranberries in a liter of water, in preparation for a New Year’s margarita variation involving cranberry-citrus juice/syrup, Wigle white rye, Solerno blood orange liquer, club soda, and bitters, your dynamic duo of drinking Del Ducas pair Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers quadruple style ale with two cupcakes from Vanilla Pastry Studio in Regent Square.  And wowee, wow-wow is that pairing wonderful!

This fun continues for approximately 22 minutes, at which point your narrator, Greg, will return to guide you immediately back in for an 8-minutes-mini that includes the previously mentioned citrus-cranberry juice (…it turned out wonderfully, and quite concentrated…) and a late, late cocktail.

The music included in this episode, in order, includes:

  1. “I can read your mind” by the wonderful and talented R.J. Heid.
  2. “The Cuppy Cake Song” by Amy Castle.  (Original video here.)
  3. “Ice Cream Man” by Van Halen.

We present to you, “Quadrupels, Cupcakes and Cranberry Juice.”

ommegang and cupcakes
(A few of my favorite things.)

Let Love Rule

The human brain matures and develops no matter what.  No matter the inputs it receives from the senses.  No matter the diet.  No matter the amount and quality of sleep.  No matter the social, emotional, and psychological milieu.  The brain will mature, the person will grow, the organism will seek survival and, should basic human needs be established, find homeostasis.  Now, how the brain matures and an individual’s likelihood of achieving self-actualization and homeostasis…are dependent almost entirely upon the environment.

That is, biological maturation occurs inevitably.  However, the quality and meaning of that maturation occurs in context.

The “nature versus nurture” conversation is flawed from the very prepositional concept.  We have to move past the false dichotomy of “versus” and approach the interconnected reality of “with.”

Speaking of “with,” I work with many complex, speech-and-language-impaired, neurologically atypical children.

Now think about this: A typical system, with typical neurology, given adequate inputs, will progress typically.  There’s really not much we need to do beyond providing adequate food, shelter, rest, social-consistency, and emotional stability.  (Note: The definition of “adequate” is quite diverse in typical organisms.)

However, when a biological system is disordered…when an individual is contending with significant difference(s), we cannot rely on typical maturation alone.  That’s why people seek treatment(s).

Nonetheless, we cannot underestimate the power of biological, and in particular, neurological maturation, lest we plan to either take excessive credit for another’s growth or, conversely, excessively blame the other’s brain for a lack thereof.

But make no mistake, the social and emotional foundation for maturation matters.

Happiness…matters.

Love…matters.

If I, as a parent, caregiver, teacher, clinician or influencer of any sort, view a person with whom I’ve agreed to work as broken, and if I believe myself a kind-of skilled neuro-behavioral carpenter who can fix that which is broken, the message received by that person will undoubtedly cause self-doubt, worry, anxiety, frustration, sadness, depression, resentment, disgust, fear, and/or anger.

It is not healthy…is, in fact, biologically counterproductive to have one’s brain and body awash in the neurochemicals of fight-or-flight.

Yet we as influencers often, perhaps almost always, interact with individuals with atypical behavioral, communicative, and/or learning styles in a manner that increases sympathetic nervous system responses and, in turn, decreases motivation, attention, and the ability to learn and change desirably.  (It is semantically ironic that the sympathetic nervous system causes a state of being quite the opposite of sympathy.)

If we do nothing more than establish and encourage environments that are safe, responsive, individually motivating, and geared toward praise, reward, and active engagement…can we outpace maturation?

I believe we can.

I’ve seen it, experienced it, encouraged it, and sought to cause it.  Furthermore, there is evidence pointing to it.  (It is beyond the scope of this post to illuminate and annotate such evidence.  But it is out there, and it is easily searchable.)

Can we not only outpace maturation but also bolster self-esteem, self-determination, and self-awareness?

Again, I believe we can.  (And again, you can seek evidence supporting the premise of the question.)

Relationship matters more than behavioral modification.

No success will come without feelings of success and a state of homeostasis.

Take the rise and demise of Tiger Woods as an example.  How is it that an athlete as skilled, confident, and intimidating as he could so quickly tumble into insignificance and athletic mediocrity?  The internal state obviously matters more than the core skill set.  (Indeed, the synchrony of the two, bringing complete homeostasis, is the ideal context.  However, the foundation of internal peace and happiness is an absolute necessity.)

We must all feel unconditionally loved, from others and from ourselves, before we can experience real, lasting, neuro-chemically significant change.

Love really is the critical element of human progress.

Now…when skill is added to love, there is an exponential power at hand.

But skill without love is devoid of functional human relevance.

When necessary skills are inadequate for a desired task, those skills must be both given/taught and received/learned in love to become both meaningful and permanent.

It’s easy.

All you need is love.

-G

Love

All That Glistens Is Not Booze

Greg thought he’d purchased an 80 proof bottle of Wigle Wapsie Valley Bourbon. (Zagat likes it too!)   He needed half of the bottle to figure out that he’d actually purchased the cask strength, which is 112.5 proof.  Such things are par for this D2D course.

Greg recently found wonderful cocktail vessels at Goodwill.  Ninety-nine cents each.  Beautifully etched stemware and perfectly rounded coupe glasses.

Greg will forever sing the praises of Luxardo maraschino (“mah-duh-SKEE-noh”) cherries.

What’s that all mean?  It means a top shelf, mind-blowing, “this ain’t your old man’s” Old-Fashioned cocktail.

Remember K.I.S.S.?  Keep it simple, stupid: One Luxardo cherry and a barspoon of the syrup in the coupe glass.  Whatever ends up in the spoon as you scoop the fruit.  Then, a couple dashes of Peychaud’s bitters right on top.  In a pint glass, stir the bourbon with ice then strain on top of the cherry/syrup/bitters.  Cut a generous piece of orange rind, squeeze and twist the essense out of it…and drop it in the glass.

Drink that.

You get to the now booze-soaked cherry at the bottom.  What to do now?

Just wait a moment.

Remember the movie, “Men in Black,” how the cat had an entire galaxy in a marble on its collar?  “The galaxy’s on Orion’s belt.”  Well, these Luxardo cherries are like the taste and oral-sensory version of that.  Quite literally, they shut Jen up…mid-sentence even.  She’ll be talking, then hit the bottom of the glass, and as soon as she pops that cherry (…yeah, I know…) it’s cognitive shut-down.

So that’s the booze.  How about the beer?

  1. Ballast Point “Sculpin.”  This beer is consistently rated near 100% across all sites, and it’s expensive.  Feeling the need to give this, “Best IPA in the universe” a try, we coughed up the cash.  After having tried it, we feel that the rating comes from the brew being so accessible and non-offensive while still being moderately big at 7% abv.  It’s like a very good “intermediate” level IPA.  You start with Magic Hat #9 or Sierra Nevada, then you move to this.  However, when we have IPAs at the D2D studios, we want to be assaulted with bit, complex aromas, flavors, and mouth feel…so this didn’t really do it for us.
  2. Ommegang “Lovely, Dark, and Deep.”  Sounds dirty, huh?  It’s delicious, and at 5.3% abv, you can actually drink this one for a while.  (My problem, of course, came with…)
  3. Terrapin “Wake and Bake.”  Wow.  I mean, Wow!  9.4% abv.  It’s an oatmeal, coffee stout that uses “Jittery Joe’s” coffee.  All from Athens, Georgia.  It’s like drinking the smoothest, most complex cold-brew coffee on the planet.  And oh, it’ll fuck you up.  Well, me.  But you, too.  It’s my…drum roll…favorite imperial “breakfast” stout as of right now.

And the topics?

  1. We move through a Kindergarten level malt lesson
  2. We move through 14 beers you’re likely pronouncing wrong.  (Thank you, Thrillist.)
  3. We talk about Wigle deep cut rye, Wigle “absent minded” absinthe, and the possibility of an all-local sazerac.  Bing cherries are locally grown, so we could make bingaschino cherries and bingaschino liquer.  And at the end of it all?  A Sazerac’n’at!
  4. We Wrap it Up with the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

And the music?

  1. At the beginning, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” by John Lee Hooker.
  2. At the end, “Drink You Away” by Justin Timberlake.

Have fun!  We present to you, “All That Glistens Is Not Booze.”

Booze

A Public Service Announcement

It’s a massive overstatement to use the word “public” in the title.  However, for the handful (…perhaps literally…) of people who regularly listen and the half-full hipster coffee shop of die-hard Driven to Drink readers (…thank you, though, really.  I don’t take any of you for granted.  For while I’ve engaged in this endeavor for my psychological/emotional health and well-being, I also did so “out loud” quite on purpose…), I’ll share the following moderately important announcement.  (See, I’m a creature of habit…never quite to the level of mental health diagnosis […well, not quite true…] but often more than just a nuisance.  My routines, scripts, and the odd little things over which I obsess, worry, and occasionally rage rarely impact my life or relationships…but sometimes they do, and I’m sure the anxiety is shaving healthy seconds off of my life.)

I’ll be teaching at Duquesne University, a seasonal (January through April) gig that has now become steady and for which I am grateful and sometimes even proud.

This means my Wednesdays cannot be spent Frankensteining together new D2D podcasts…not without increasing my anxiety and tendencies toward a neurotic urgency to get everything done right now.

So…growth!

My plan, then, is to release the D2D weekly posts on Wednesdays (…and here you are reading it right now.  How fun…) and move the podcast to Saturdays.  See that?  Just a flip in the routine.

I’ll still release the “Back in the (Mon)day Foray,” on Mondays…or sometimes not Mondays, which is the reason for the parenthetical (Mon), and I’ll still release, on LibSyn and iTunes, the classic (…classic?  Really?!…) podcasts along with the new ones.  On Saturdays.

That’s the plan.

So…if you’re still with me, thank you.  This journey has helped me to crawl over several (monu)mental walls that have seemed impenetrable for years.  Turns out, writing a transparent-as-I-can-manage  memoir/diary and making it visible to anyone has been the right prescription.

So, thanks.  And see you Saturday.

-G

fix that

Global Consciousness & the Internet

As monumental and culture-changing is the ubiquity of social-media and internet access, I remain disappointed that all of us seem to be either searching for and preaching to our choirs or seeking validity for and regurgitating the messages of our preachers. What should be a change agent has become, for many, perhaps the majority, a pair of keyless ideological handcuffs.

And then I flip the coin.

All things can be immediately broadcast by anyone.  Any person with a smart phone or tablet and the right application can provide a live feed of anything.  Any person with access to a computer and internet connection can watch that feed. Once a file is uploaded it will exist in perpetuity.  How will history be written when it is immediately available, in visual format, to all?  Who will give a shit about what expert A, Doctor Whatserface, or the league of extraordinary propagandizers have to say?  If the technology-pervasive and social media-ubiquitous world of today existed on November, 22nd, 1963…the Zapruder film would’ve been buried and rendered immediately useless in a digital mountain of photos, videos, streams, and first person accounts.  There’d be no question of who shot whom with what from where and how many times; nor of how many whoms.  (Who’s on first?  I don’t know.  Third base.)

The way things happened then would be impossible today.

That phrase could justifiably be uttered at the tail end of any 50 year stretch.  I understand that.

But the end of this particular 50 year stretch is unique.  The investigation of such a pivotal event, the assassination of the President, as it might happen today would have been impossible just 10 years ago, let alone 50.  Ten!

I’m 41…and at this point traditional and mainstream media outlets mean very little.  I am not swayed by the opinions or analysis of most biological puppets sitting on couches or standing in front of holo-decks.  Many in my generation still are.  Most in the generations before me are.  However, almost all younger than me are not.  Within 30 years, almost everyone born before 1970 will be dead.  Within 15 years, the generations running the show will have matured in a world that has been, is, and forever will be literally at their fingertips.  Technology is quickly removing the veils of the current power structures.  One data leak can, nay…has revealed the desperate, insecure men and women behind the curtain.  The world is becoming more and more transparent, and it seems that our leaders are playing the very same manipulative games of Risk, of Monopoly, of Thrones that have been played time immemorial.

But never before in history has the internet existed, and never before in the very recent past has the internet been so powerful.  It is a seemingly indestructible library of Alexandria, fueled by the power of genius, imagination, ingenuity…and, perhaps inevitably, itself.

There is no excuse for any of us NOT to research (Google and Google Scholar, among many others), NOT to debunk (snopes.com, etc.), NOT to ask any question to the fullest, smartest, most immediate resource available to anybody at any time  while seated on our asses eating Doritos in our underwear in the comfort of our homes.  There is no excuse for me NOT to think for myself given the impossible-to-truly-conceive device that I’m staring into RIGHT NOW.

In 1926, Nikola Tesla communicated this message.  He was laughed at and would have been laughed at well into your lifetime.  But today?  Yikes:

When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.”

We all have a science (non) fiction miracle in our pockets.  (And yes, I’m happy to see you.) It’s unforgivable NOT to use it. (That’s what she said.)  You can, right now, be as well-informed as any human in the history of humanity.  Each second there is “the most information ever” available to you.  No matter when you decide to find something out, in that precise moment you have, at your fingertips, more data than ever before.  If one sits and thinks too deeply about that fact, it becomes overwhelming.  Total Perspective Vortex.

So please, make good use of this still inconceivable network of human connectivity which is real and virtually free.

Find your truths, but also seek the Truth.

Make your mark, and by all means say your piece, but also take from the global consciousness whizzing about from server to server like an ever evolving earth-sized brain.

-G

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