Open Letter Concerning the Traitors at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Dear Everyone,

I have been hearing about a new set of “Occupiers” in icy remote regions of Oregon. This name so many news sources applied to a group of men invading a small government facility on preserved land is reminiscent of another group of people I half-heartedly gave my allegiance to so many years ago, the Occupiers of Zucotti Park in New York and so many other places across the united states. These original Occupiers had similar gripes; tyranny, corruption, government overreach and incompetence. However, the Zucotti Park Occupiers did not bring guns and did not spew hate. They merely occupied public land whereas these new Occupiers (from now on referred to as Militiamen) invaded and seized public land for themselves, violently. So I ask you to please discontinue, like I have, calling them occupiers.

Calling the Militiamen occupiers obscenely undercuts the severity of the crime they are committing, namely treason. They are not occupying public lands in the same way Occupiers did, they are invading and seizing them from us, the american people, the lawful owners (as opposed to the rightful owners, the Paiute Indians). It is incredibly unjust and ridiculously stupid what they are doing. They claim to be upholding The Constitution while seemingly having only read half of it at a 3rd grade level. They are in many ways opposed to The Constitution and the everyday American way of life and therefore are enemies of the American people.

The occupiers however were a peaceful group of loving hippies who just wanted a better life for themselves and others who had been mistreated by the status quo. Albeit they ultimately accomplished very little other than being beaten and shot by the very thing they were trying to elucidate. They however didn’t bring guns, they were rarely violent, and were very accommodating to anyone who wanted to help or be helped. Many homeless found shelter, food and compassion from these dirty hippies, something they’d been sorely lacking from the government and most of society.

So while friendly and peaceful occupiers were beaten and bruised by police in their various outposts several times, the traitorous and hateful Militiamen continue unabatedly occupying government land. It is offensive to call them occupiers, even militiamen when we should be calling them by their true name, traitors.

Sincerely,

Nickolas B.

P.S. The Occupiers were much better prepared with snacks than the traitors have shown to be.

What Can Happen in a Second

(My best friend for christmas gave me a book called 642 Reasons to Write this was the first prompt. A simple question, “what can happen in a second?” brought this about, idk if it’s worth a read that’s for you to decide. It only takes a second to decide what you’re going to occupy the succeeding seconds with, so in that second I decided to be arguably productive.)

What can happen in a second? If you think about it a second is a long time. It takes a second for a bullet to reach your heart. Only a second from when a beautiful girl catches your eye until your heart starts racing. A second can make or break a relationship, there is only a fraction of a second difference between “I love you,” and “I think we should break up.”

A second is the difference between winning or losing. I was in a race in higschool, 100 meter freestyle swim. My opponent and I were neck and neck way ahead of the other racers. Each stroke put us ahead or behind the other. We had no idea, however, we only wanted to be the fastest we could. It’s hard to see your opponent in the pool and looking would cost an all important second. A second away from your time and in a race that often takes a minute ± 4 seconds that is a lot of time. The race ended in just under a minute; 56 seconds for him, 57 for me. In that second all of the immense effort I put forth into swimming my ass off became meaningless as it only meant 2nd place. I’d beaten my best time, and most of my teams best times, but in that second I became second place.

Paramedics work in seconds. In that second that they lost getting stuck behind a wall of idiot drivers at an intersection they lose the heart attack, spider-bite, stroke victim they were racing toward. Same with police or firefighters. Any emergency is measured in fractions of a second. I’m sure and have heard stories of people being saved on 9/11/01 by the second they “wasted” at a stop sign, or turning back for their keys, or dressing their kids.

Songs and film even paintings work in seconds. In a second a piece of music can swell to a heart wrenching crescendo, or an actor can deliver that one line that brings the whole plot reeling from twist after twist to that final satisfying conclusion. When observing a painting, the extra second one takes to breathe and truly open their eyes to it can mean the difference between understanding or disregarding the piece.

In writing a second can mean everything. In the second that a potential reader takes to read the title or the first line of a story is the subconscious decision to continue reading or putting the book down.

The universe was created in a second, it took several more for it to become what it is, but it only took a second to explode into being. You, me, and everyone who’s ever lived were created in that final climactic second of passion. Well, speaking technically (read: less poetically) some people were created in that second of fertilization when a sperm – be it from the oh so satisfying natural way or the miraculous life changing science of insemination – all humans were created.

So there you have it, all life, humanity, animals, everything began in a second, and every second afterward can mean the creation or destruction of any number of things. So, and I usually steer away from such platitudes, but it seems so appropriate to say now, make every second count.

Nonproblems of a Member of the Privileged Class

This afternoon I was struck with the dire decision of where to get first meal. I’d slept in later than normal and when I got up my roommate was watching the episode of sherlock with That Woman. So, of course, I had to stay and watch before getting on with my routine of yoga, breakfast burrito, coffee and writing.

Anyway after watching I was way to hungry to do yoga but also feeling fat so the breakfast burrito was out of the question. Now incredibly hungry, a little stoned, and without the predetermination of a routine I got into my car and haphazardly drove off to figure it out on the way. As some of you may know that was a terrible decision.

As I waited at the first stoplight the true weight of the matter fell upon my feeble mind. Where would I eat? The myriad restaurants passed through my mind faster than I could process them as every car on the road seemed like they wanted to slam into me. It had to be somewhat healthy (veggies, no grease, etc.). I know I was disgusted with myself too however I skipped yoga, my dubious excuse for eating like an american, but everything that came to mind was the opposite.

Breakfast bagel from my favorite spot? No, right direction but too late. Breakfast burrito? No, stupid. Okay fine, something from the coffee shop? No not enough food. The buffet of choice overwhelmed me as I drove aimlessly. I lamented the plethora of choice and my own indecisiveness. It seemed there would be the perfect solution if only I sifted through the proverbial haystack.

That or I should just pick something, anything, and get on with my day. I mean, it’s all clean, edible, and in most cases delicious. How was this even a problem. In fact it wasn’t and shouldn’t have been at all. The plethora of choice of food is the pinnacle of society.

I began imagining a nondescript third world community of huts, scavenging the slim amount of edibles from the plain on which they live. They had no problem deciding what to eat all they could do was happily accept the bland wheat and whatever meat would pass by. Their entire life is based around scarcity. Everything from what they could eat to their job in the community is determined by working with what they have.

I envied them. In The States, well at least the part in which I live, there is no scarcity. We have an abundance of places to eat, types of jobs and anxieties about which to choose. It reminded me of an episode of Malcom in the Middle where Malcom was caught in the middle of the indecision the plethora inevitably creates. He was faced with choosing a career, and only told he could be whatever he wanted. Some would see that as nice problem to have, especially the fictional third world community I made up above, others would point out it’s fiction.

However, it points to a very real problem what do you choose when you could literally do anything and nothing seems right.

Then my stomach growled and I was on a road with no food at all so I pointed my car toward the coffee shop and settled on the terrible sandwich shop next to it and wrote this.

TV Land

It’s easy to forget we live in the real world, that our actions have consequence and others are the main character in their own show. It’s even easier to forget that sometimes we aren’t the hero, or the protagonist, we’re just a person walking around happening to he where we are any the time; nothing special, just real. It’s easy to think that at the end of the day everything resets, that the arcs and storylines from yesterday concluded and that today is a new day. Well, it’s not. Sometimes we’re the villain, sometimes we’re background noise, an extra, but all of the time what we do has an effect on others.

It’s easy to forget that in film, television and stories that situations are exaggerated for entertainment. A simple fact it to me years to realize. The circumstances, actions, reactions, even down to the emotions of the characters are all fake. Mind blowing, I know. Now extend that to so called reality tv, televised real people in real situations. Real people with real emotions doing real things is boring as fuck. There’s no way they would show the real life of these human beings doing taxes, grocery shopping, taking shits, and when they do there’s always some contrived drama that allows the story of the episode to move forward, and eventually conclude with some cliff hanger set to dramatic music so you’ll tune in next week to the Kardashian’s crazy and totally real antics. It’s not real, reality tv is not real or else it would have no place amongst the cartoons and the dramas that are so much less entertaining than real people in fake situations. We accept that it’s real because we want it to be so we can sit back with our popcorn and say “oh, I’d never do that,” or “if that was me I’d totally do it this way,” and be satisfied that our lives aren’t that ridiculous.

What brought this thought about was an all too common video of police officers forcefully arresting a cooperative man in front of his family. They were man handling him, slamming him into the wall as he was saying “just let me go, I told you I come with you calmly.” Another officer came to assist the first in trying to handcuff the criminal. He continued to plea that the force was unnecessary and that he would go calmly without the cuffs, I suppose to retain some shred of dignity in front of his wife and son. A 3rd cop was trying to stop the wife from filming as she was screaming that he wasn’t resisting. They finally force the man out onto the walkway in front of his apartment, at this point all three officers were tackling and beating him while the wife begged them not to punch him. Suddenly a taser was pulled, and a small dog entered the scene. One officer was tasing the man, another was holding his son back while the 3rd kicked the small dog out of frame. I couldn’t watch anymore.

Now it’s possible that there was something that happened before the video started to cause such drama, action, and brutality. However it had a tinge of theatrics, an NYPD Blue sort of quality. What I’m saying is that growing up in a time where NYPD Blue, and cops were some of the most popular shows on television probably inspired a lot of kids to become cops so they can take down bad guys. In that simplicity and with that inspiration it would totally make sense to make any routine arrest as dramatic and exciting as possible.

This doesn’t extend solely to cops either. I see it on Twitter and Facebook and real life everyday. This dramatization of real life leads to a point where someone will see a Kardashian pulling someone’s hair for saying something mean and think it’s okay to do that in real life and then wonder why the cops were called to beat the shit out of them. Then people will complain that their life is too boring to simple. Well fucking good you’re doing something right, it’s not a bad thing if your life isn’t dramatic, real life is hard enough with cops forcing you out of your house for missing a court date, or some dude trying to beat the shit out of you for looking at his girl. In real life things aren’t as important or extreme as shown on tv.

I’m not saying we should eliminate reality tv or that police brutality is a rampant and terrible problem, I’m only saying that maybe we should all collectively take it down a notch.

Wine May Not Have Blue Mountains but it Gets You Laid

Wine is by far the best party drink. Forget your 4lokos and your (now plastic) bottles of mickeys those are for frat boys and teenage girls, respectively. You want a man’s drink better come prepared with a corkscrew and a muscly arm because no spindly little twig arm is getting to that sweet sweet merlot.

Now imagine this you’re at a party, your bro’s hitting it off with a 9, you walk over to give him a cheers. You’re long thick glass bottle taps against his puny tin can, and even though those mountains are bluer than the mediterranean on a clear day, you catch her eying your thick long bottle of sauvignon blanc. She bites her lip but you don’t notice because your enjoying that translucent yellow liquid splashing against the back of your throat.

You walk away so as not to put a damper on your bro’s game, even though it would be no contest. You find a group of buds and push your way into the circle. They’re all clutching frosty cans except one, he “forgot” to get beer again. He’s been trying to bum a brew from the other responsible party goers. Your eyes lock, you know whats coming so you put your mouth around the mouth of your big bottle of cabernet sauvignon and take long slobbery draught. You catch his eye again, he looks away.

That conversation went stale, much like the taste Natty Ice. So you turn around try and find that gorgeous pair of legs and breasts that intimidated you half a bottle of syrah ago. Now, however, your cheeks are ruddied and your step is wobbled and you got balls as big as John Cena’s and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s put together. There she is right over there, by herself, you can fix that. So you swig a mouthful of chardonnay move toward her.

But what’s this? Some pussy steps up first and in his hand he’s clutching a plastic baby bottle of Steel Reserve. Pah, he’s some kind of bitch, so you step between them and start laying down that vagina moistening game harder than you thought you could. That guy taps your shoulder and starts swinging, sayin that’s his girl, but you’re a classy motherfucker so you tell him you can’t own a girl, and that she has the free will to choose whoever she wants to rail her. He brings that bottle of Steel Reserve down on your head, but the plastic crumples and bounces off with hardly a tickle. You ain’t mad but he mussed your hair so this loser’s got to learn a lesson. You cork your thick glass bottle of zinfandel swing it hard into his ear. He goes down, she draws closer and tells you to take her to your house.

Now you’re getting laid and that malt liquor drinking barbarian is lying on the grass with cauliflower growing out the side of his head. You wanna know why, because you’re that classy motherfucker who brought wine to a party.

Back to the Future day got me thinkin

So today marks the fact that we are officially in the future. According to an extremely popular 80’s movie October 21st is the future. I’ve seen more comparisons of the real now and the film now than I have seen the actual movie, regardless, it is disheartening. Obviously the creators of that movie overshot their predictions, food rehydrators don’t even really make sense, and hover boards, while cool, are likely still years from being feasible. Technology is great and all, really fun to talk about, but as this blog lately hasn’t really been about fun (sorry about that I’m trying to make a fun story but it just won’t come together). I wanted to talk about the grim reality we face as a species.

Especially in the United States our greatest minds are working less and less in the scientific fields and more in grocery stores. We were the country that put humans on the goddamned moon and now we’re fighting over who should be allowed to marry? We fucking invented trains and now ours are the laughing stock of the rest of the planet. Let that sink in for a minute, we revolutionized transportation now we have some of the worst trains in any significantly advanced country. Soon we won’t even be able to call ourselves significantly advanced.

At this time in history I see a significant regression, we’ve been resting on our laurels. That’s not how you make a “more perfect union” that’s how you implode like the Romans. This is fucking America goddammit we’re supposed to be the best and we very well can be, we just need to pick up our bootstraps and work harder… just kidding. We need to break out the guillotine… still kidding, kind of. Not the actual guillotine, even though that is boner inducingly enticing, we’re not animals, but a metaphorical guillotine. We need to cut off the bank accounts of the überrich.

During The United State’s heyday, the era a lot of americans still believe we’re in, the taxes on the überrich were 90%. Now that’s ridiculous but it allowed us to live in a world where the government could fund ridiculous technological projects like getting a rocket to the moon. Imagine if we continued with that momentum, the creators of Back to the Future did and theirs was a much lovelier future that we can only be jealous of.

Instead we live in a future riddled with anxiety. Climate change, political instability, religious(resource) wars all center around the überrich’s obsession with scarce resources. They take advantage and even create our reliance on oil. They hinder the progress of renewable/infinite energy at every turn for no other reason that I can see than to maintain control over the populace. They make it so our only choice is reliance on them. Whether it be debasing solar/wind power or blocking it in legislation altogether. Now I have no idea how to fix this, it seems it’s just one of those things that could be too broken to fix. However I have faith in humanities ingenuity, I just don’t have faith in our timing.   

(Sorry about all these opinion pieces, I know I hate reading them too. I promise I’ll post a story soon. you know when you have a really great idea and it just falls apart on paper? Yeah I’m at that stage right now. TTYL)

Gun Control, Climate Change, and Kim K’s Bodacious Booty.

I’m tired of asinine arguments. Any trending topic, gun control, climate change, discrimination, these are all incredibly important issues that internet people have turned into baseless jokes. It seems now no progress can be made. Anytime a nuanced, well-thought out, and researched argument comes along it is attacked and derided with opinions. It’s as if beliefs are now viable fact on par with science, statistics and research. It is despicable and dangerous that the social discourse has devolved in such a way.

Belief is especially dangerous because it needn’t be based in fact, it needn’t be based in anything except the believers will to believe. The truly terrible thing is that the more evidence one uses to debunk a belief the stronger the believers will is to hold on to it. Now this it’s fine that people hold on to beliefs I’m not arguing against that. However, it becomes a problem when these people go to vote, or make legislation. See, societies for a long time based law on belief because that’s all they had, there was no science or statistical analyses, but it’s 2015 and we’ve had these things for a while. So it’s time to stop believing and start knowing.

Now I’m not one to tell anyone how to live their lives. However, there is nothing wrong with telling you how I live my life so as to give an example. I hold no beliefs, each passing moment contains new information and thereby changing the situation beliefs will only hinder the decision making process. So I solely make decisions based on information, and you can to. You can even hold on to your beliefs but just leave them out of your argument and decisions. This way there is no fear of new information. You won’t have to change anything about yourself and you never have to admit your wrong, merely ignorant.

The problem with telling people to drop their beliefs, however, is that people will base their entire personality around them. That’s fine, thats their choice same as mine to not hold any beliefs, but when it comes to public discourse these people will throw their belief into the mix and bolster it with consensus. Consensus is not truth and that is what I see a lot of these believers arming themselves with. Facts become mere blips in the sea of cacophonous consensus. See a fact has to be based on something in objective reality, consensus just has to be repeated by enough people. As long as a group of people agree on something, regardless of its basis in reality, it is consensus.

I guess I’m just saddened and disheartened that belief and large groups of loud people have so much more power than truth and fact. It honestly scares me because a lot of the facts point to complete and utter destruction, and the consensus seems to be ignoring it for Kim K’s bodacious booty.