Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Daily Grievances - December 13, 2015

Seems like the older I get, things just seem to be getting worse. Someone once told me it would happen, but I thought they meant things like responsibilities and financial troubles. I didn't know that it would end up coming down to just straight-up stupid people.

1. Why do Massachusetts drivers drive so slow in the winter? You'd think by now, they'd be used to the season and how to drive in it. But no, a little white on the ground (or none at all), and it becomes cautionary. Just today I even saw someone with their HAZARD lights on. If you don't trust yourself or your vehicle in this weather, move somewhere else, or purchase a vehicle with All-Wheel-Drive.

2. Having to pay $600 for a new phone that won't die in one hour. I cannot afford this, nor would I ever spend that money on such a stupid little item. So, I chose to buy a used and discontinued phone, the battery of which does not last more than an hour or two. On top of that, the phone does not charge unless turned off. So not only am I missing calls, texts, and notifications, but I'm also not able to get back to people for hours on end because I can't turn my phone on.

3. Facebook. The narcissistic age is upon us, full of selfies, memes, posting pictures of accomplishments, and the like. If we are ever to become a humble race, then this invention needs to cease operating immediately.

4. The word "maybe". It is probably my least favorite word in the world, and I am all for boycotting it out of the dictionary and out of the human language. The range of indecisiveness in this country is staggering, especially with women. If I ask a woman to meet me out for a drink, and she says "maybe", I take it as a no, and I also never speak to her again. People need to learn to just say yes or no, regardless of the outcome. Maybe is a stupid word, a dumb word, and it's reserved for stupid and dumb people. People that I would rather not have crowding my life.

5. Homeless people who have NO PURPOSE in their lives. After reading Kerouac's "Dharma Bums", I have no sympathy for homeless people who stay in one city their whole lives, eating hand-to-mouth and washing every dollar and coin away on alcoholic and narcotic perishables, never once spending a whole day in the library reading books of wisdom, grit and fulfillment. The Dharma Bum travels, he makes friends and connections, he climbs mountains, and he prays for everyone in the world. The homeless folks I see are almost like a different race altogether. They are a tumor, and those who feel bad for them have been suckered in.

6. Lastly, I am developing a real problem with people and their phones. Everywhere I look now, people have their heads down. This is the "Heads Down Generation", for sure. Zipping their fingers across a tiny touch-screen for minutes and minutes, which turn into hours and hours. Or going to a concert or event, and documenting the whole thing with their phone; 500 audience members with their screens in the air, as if the human memory has ceased on a global scale. But it's not so they can keep a pleasant memory on their phone. It's so they can post it on Facebook and try to convince people that they are living better lives than them. The only people I approach, or even talk to, or those who have not produced their phone since I've started noticing them. They take the world in as they should, sensitive to the many fruits and delicacies of this great planet.

Wise up, Head-Downers!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Therapy of Jerome Pabst - Session 93

February 5th, 2012
4:51 PM
Dr. Martin P. Stevens Psychiatrics
Brighton, MA
Session 93

Martin S: How are you today, Jerome? I trust your weekend was well. And here we are today, Monday, amid a new storm of events and precautions, measures to take, urges to do well, and face the grim colorfulness of life…
Jerome P: Today was better to me than most.
Martin S: Well, let’s hear about it!
Jerome P: It wasn’t more eventful, or meaningful; it just had less bullshit in it than other days.
Martin S: So, we shall hear about it!
Jerome P: Martin, just because you’re my psychiatrist does not mean I need to indulge you in everything, does it? I mean, talking about how my day went is something I can do with a friend, or a colleague, or my mother.
Martin S: Some interesting swings of emotion there, old buddy. I like how your voice when up when you said, my mother. Let’s talk about your mother. How is she?
JP: ………
MS: I take it, she’s still under treatment?
JP: She’s been taking everything very well, but I don’t see her coming out of this one.
MS: Well we can only assume that the radiation treatment did not help her, so this is the alternative, Jerry. Don’t be so negative about it. I know it’s hard watching her go through this every two weeks, but if you just –
JP: I don’t want to talk about this.
MS: Alright, well, how’s work? Did you meet halfway about that racial stuff with your boss?
JP: Work is ahhhhh bitch. I cannot talk to these brokers any longer, I’m losing my mind. A black man like me needs some time to chill out and boogie once in a while. And I apologized to my boss , yes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate him for what he did to me; he humiliated me in front of the whole faculty and expected me to take it calmly…I flipped out, got suspended from work, and I apologized. That’s it.
MS: But you’re still angry.
JP: Yes I am still angry.
MS: Need I remind you of this fragile, shaky economy we mingle in, Jerome? Of all the freaks and geeks taking over this country and making it a living hell for the middle-class and makes failures and heroes out of the lower class and poor? How you should appreciate the fact that you have a job? A job that pays you enough money to eat well and g-
JP: I appreciate being alive, Martin. But I do not appreciate my job.
MS: Your depression stems from this perspective, Jerry. Don’t you see? You’re not valuing the merits of hard work enough. You’re nearing 40 and you still want to party.
JP: Well what about you, Marty-The-Party? Arrested seven times on disorderly conduct, possession of class D substances with intent to distribute, at least half-a-dozen times in jail, where you sang Waylon Jennings tunes until they ripped you out to appear before a bewildered judge? All of this within a period of four measly years at UMass? It’s a miracle you even have patients.
MS: Yeah, I partied. But I went to medical school and straightened myself out, Jerome.
JP: You still do all the same things you used to do though, Marty. Do any of your patients know what you do on the weekends? How much money you spend? At the strip club alone? How much blow you snort? Has anyone ever seen you out and about?
MS: There was this one time, I was out and about, down on Sewall Street somewhere having drinks with Paul, maybe it was Rafferty’s or McGuinness’s Pub or some place…But we’re in there getting hammered with the hot, 18-year-old bartenders after they had closed the doors at 2 AM on Friday night, Me and Pauly just getting cocked for free. So we’re sitting there, getting real close with these two hot smokin’ barkeeps right? The one that I was talking to, Renee, jumps over the side of the bar, and walks past me. On her way to the jukebox, she pats my bum alarmingly. She puts on “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and immediately takes her clothes off, the other girl following. Now they’re both naked, coming on to us, and suddenly Renee pulls my jimmy out and starts sucking on it, and the other girl Nina starts sucking on Pauly. And we’re just looking over at each other occasionally, on the brink of maniacal laughter, like two heartless piece-of-shitfaced guys would do. Pauly’s girl Nina is sprawled out on the bar sucking on Pauly’s dick, while Renee is on her knees sucking mine, and Nina’s ass is just right next to me, in my face, so I stick my face into her ass and start making a raspberry, jolting my head from side-to-side, as Renee continues to suck my dick, and just at that moment – someone walks in the bar.
JP: Oh, boy…
MS: It was Peggy Keenan, man. The Peggy Keenan who had been in therapy with me for five years, knew nothing about me, just like most of ‘em don’t. She walked into the bar to the four of us going at it like this.
JP: Yeah? And?!
MS: She froze up when she saw me. She looked like a wreck. She looked seven times drunk from the last seven bars she walked into. I knew this woman very well. Manic alcoholism-driven depression and insomnia. She got down on herself because she drank so much, which made her depressed, which in turn made her want to drink more; a vicious cycle of which I was well aware of through our weekly sessions together. And after she realized it was me, she began to break down crying, painful crying shrieks before basically falling out the door she came in, backwards. I immediately clamored when I saw her, but she was out the door, running hysteric down the street before I could even get Renee’s lips off of my slowly submerging penis.
JP: Goodness gracious, Marty.
MS: I know. Pretty terrible.
JP: So I’m guessing that was the end of your professional relationship with her?
MS: Yep. She never called, and neither did I. But that’s probably the only time any one of my patients has ever seen me shitface-house-drunk and off of my rocker.
JP: I cannot believe you’re my psychiatrist.
MS: I’m your friend Jerry. First and foremost. I’ve known you for almost 15 years now. The only thing that makes me your therapist is that you pay me 120 dollars an hour to do so.
JP: - which also depresses me.
MS: How so?
JP: Well, you basically get paid 120 dollars an hour to attentively listen to what someone has to say, before or after asking questions involving variables in their life that they’re struggling with. Then you employ various ways for the patient to deal, or manage these tough variables when confronted with them in their daily routines. My point is I COULD DO THAT. I’m not insulting your medical knowledge, but I get paid 15 dollars an hour, plus commission for hunting, scouring and perusing this land for abandoned properties, pouring over credit records and potential mortgage applicants, trying to get a hold on how to hold an offer but also what to do with an offer, and accounts and receivables, and cleaning the desks at night, running errands for an otherwise ungenerous and racist boss, coming in late so I don’t have to be part of the cattle-like, schoolboy-like faculty entry to the dungeonous building, amidst a swell of panning “hellos” “heyhowareyas” “howyadoins” “mornings” “what’sgoinons” “what’supmans”, passing from ear-to-ear….But I didn’t want to put up with those three extra years and become something like a doctor, or a lawyer, because I guess I figured it was copping out. But I have mixed feelings toward you, because I envy your success and stability, but I look at you, and know you close enough to know what your workload consists of, and I KNOW THAT I COULD DO IT. All the notes you take, that you basically just read and decipher, and refer to books and medical reference for guidance on a matter, all the while never having to talk to anybody except for what must be your 13th receptionist, each one more tawdry and sluttier than the last. So I envy you, yes. But it pisses me off.
MS: Fuck you, Jerome. Go home. Our time is up.
JP: Our time is not up.
MS: Fuck you, bro. I got Sandy Welker waiting outside.
JP: There’s five minutes left on the clock.
MS: Boy, oh, boy, Jerry. You finally have something you want to say five minutes before the session ends. Great. What is it, old buddy. For once, tell me something that’s really bugging you.
JP: I guess I just want to say, that I admire what you do, Martin. The way you’ve managed to create a successful career for yourself, while also remaining single, solid, stupid and senseless, putting your body through hell on the weekends and returning to earth 7 AM Monday morning. You’re 39 years old, Dr. Stevens; don’t you think you ought to slow down already? Maybe, marry one of these receptionists of yours?
MS: You know what Martin? It’s like this: When I was in high school, my best friend Craig’s older brother John was the shit. He was tail-back at St. John, straight-A student and the biggest wild party animal you’ve ever seen. This kid could consume a quarter keg solo, blow half-an 8-ball off a skinny hooker’s ass all in one line, with nothing to eat and nothing clear to drink, and get up the next morning to ace two quantum physics tests and win a regional championship football game. He’s now nearing 50, living in Stow with his old lady and two daughters, and I asked him once; seen him at the lake fishing not too long ago; I asked him, “Hey, Johnny, do anyone of the old hometown folks ever still ask you about the ‘secret to success’ or ‘what it means to be a man’ or whatever?” He laughed and then said yes. And I asked him, “Well what do you tell them?” and he said, “Well, Marty I had a physics teacher who put it all in perspective when he said ‘Flowing water never goes bad’. And to me, that means that no matter what the consequence, just do it. There is no impossible. I always said, there has to be way where I can be totally professional one minute and then do and live exactly the way I want the next minute. And have these two different streams flow in and out of each other smoothly. I didn’t plan for it. I just did it. Hangover, not hung over, high on acid, or in high-heels, I always got up for work the next day, and I always drank consistently, keeping the tolerance up.
JP: Ha. I see.
MS:……Oh! And drink water and stretch. The two secrets of life right there.
JP: I’ll see you next week, old buddy.
MS: Keep smokin’ that weed, Jerry, it’s good for that depression.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Destiny Calls

Bob Dylan once said that “Destiny is a feeling you have that you know something about yourself nobody else does. The picture you have in your own mind of what you're about WILL COME TRUE. It's a kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it's a fragile feeling, and you put it out there, then someone will kill it. It's best to keep that all inside.”

In an age of technological rubbish and social control, child manipulation and political turmoil, it becomes more and more apparent to me how that old Kerouac trip seems more necessary now than when it actually happened. In the Beat era though, it was still the blooming of a nation, a government still trying to figure out how to control citizens. Unfortunately, now they’ve figured it out after 60 years: give everyone really nifty, intuitive cell phones. Not just a cell phone, though…but a tracking device, a statistic calculator, a heap of distractions, bright colors, and seemingly convenient and groundbreaking functionality.

From a personal point of view, I am at an age of 25, an age that becomes more important and crucial as you approach 26. What have I done? Well, I went to high school, formed some deep musical and personal friendships,  moved up to the mountains with a girl for 2 years, came back to my home town, played gigs, moved to Nashville for a year, got in with a band, played some gigs, and then I lost my job. And where do you go from there? Do you stick around Nashville? Do you head home? Do you curl up and die?

My idea of my destiny never comes out of my head. Like Bob Dylan says, as soon as you open up to someone else about it, your perception of it can change with negative judgment, so it’s best just to shut up about it and keep people on their toes and guessing. It isn’t worth your insecurities.

So what have I decided? Well, as much as I love the city of Nashville and the southern pace, I might be heading home soon. One thing I do know for sure: from now on, I’m never signing a lease with somebody else. Sorry; will never happen again. I always feel guilty when I want to up and leave, which is one thing a human is always able to do, no matter what anyone says. This is the second time I’ve found myself in such a predicament. When I told him about my yearning to get home, a wise friend told me, “Never sign a lease. The word sounds too much like leash. They’ll have you by the balls.”

And he’s right. But in the long run, a lease holds no candle to what your heart desires. My heart desires the company of close friends, family, my homeland, and a little bit of ambition and perseverance. I just cannot get that down here. I have Drew, and I’ve made some friends, but there’s no family, and your ambition and perseverance get severed by the competition and standards of Downtown Nashville and Music Row (the latter being virtually extinct due to consumer recording innovations). It’s a wasteland. It’s an established standard and formula. There’s no room for innovation.

Culturally, it’s a fine city. Nashville is one of the best nightlife scenes I’ve ever experienced, anywhere. But once you get outside the city, where do you go? There’s only a 10 square-mile radius of city offshoots, and then you’re headed into the sticks. That can be great for an established band. But for a band that’s settling there and starting from the ground up, you’re going to run out of gigs. You’ll need to go on tour, paying out of your asshole.

My thoughts drift to Henry David Thoreau, a true hero of mine and a historical symbol of New England independence. He said that you never really had to go too far from your hometown to discover the secrets and wonders of life, in his case, being the thousands of species of flora and animals in the area. Sometimes it’s not so good to think outside the box. Sometimes it’s better to look at the Big Picture. Outside the Box and The Big Picture are two completely different things.

Maybe sometimes, you’re better off where you’re comfortable, because if you’re comfortable there, why seek to be comfortable elsewhere? A lot of people aren’t comfortable with where they came from; either they grow bored of the geography because to them it seems there’s “nowhere to go”, “no one to see” and “nothing to do”, so they take off and pursue their endeavors elsewhere. And that’s fine; that’s genius. But for me, it takes getting away from New England to realize that I belong there, that I’m comfortable there, and that I have the best chances of making a career there.

My destiny points to the North. I’ve always heard it’s all about who you know, and I know more folks than I can count up there. This isn’t the 60’s; I can’t just move somewhere and expect to be somebody else, especially when living with a lifelong friend. By somebody else, I just mean rebooting your drive and focusing on being ambitious and making things happen. It’s so much harder when you start from scratch. Whereas up in New England, I’m connected; it’ll happen faster. At this point in my life, at the crucial and breaking-point age of 25, this is the option I’m taking, because it’s realistic, it intrigues me, and it makes me feel good.

Destiny isn’t about pushing it to the limit. Destiny is tied into your instincts. You are in control of your destiny, but little things pop up that you can’t really explain that have a tendency to stop you in your tracks and make you think; these pop-ups are incredibly important. I find that usually, it’s best to just roll with whatever. You can decide to turn around later. You always have a choice, and you can always walk away. You might get in trouble, you might get hurt, you might lose some money, but at least you went with the flow. You’re not sitting on a shitty couch in a shitty apartment thinking, “Man, I should’ve gone with that deal”, and instead you’re thinking, “I did the best I could. I wonder what’s next.”

It’s all how you look at it. I think Forrest Gump was right when he said life is a little bit of both; it’s a mixture of having a destiny written for you, and having the ability to control that destiny. You have to trust your feelings; they’re given to you by God (or whoever runs this place). If you don’t trust your feelings, you’re flipping God the bird.

Whatever happens, happens, through the natural course of time. You are a variable in this string of time. You decide what happens next, but there will be those feelings. And there will be times when your heart tugs harder on your soul than the rationale of the mind, and although it may seem far-fetched, you must trust your heart. For instance, I would rather be surrounded by 200 friends and family, than three band members who have no idea where I’m from. I would rather sit by a murky pond in May when I can still see my breath, rather than a stifling, humid river among sweaty southerners. The early summer is beautiful, but it doesn’t mean it taps into who I really am, and where I came from.

I like the southern vibe; I like sitting outside and getting sweaty and tired from just sitting there; I like the music; but I don’t like the attitude. I was brought up in a fast-thinking, fast-moving society, and I can’t help but feel out of place here. Everyone down here is in no hurry to get anywhere. And when I look at myself, I’m in a hurry to do things and get things done! IT WILL NOT GET DONE DOWN HERE.

So, still in Tennessee, amongst feelings of angst and yearning to hit the road up the East coast, I’ll say my goodbyes with a lump in my throat and head out just like Stosh would’ve done. We all have ticking clocks, just like he did. My clock is reaching the stroke of midnight. And after midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang out.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Learnings About Guitar Rhythm

I have loved the playing of Jerry Garcia for years. I encountered albums of the Dead when I was probably about 13 or 14, but never really became immersed in them until after high school. I have personal belief that I have loved Garcia's playing subconsciously since I was a little boy, maybe as early as 5 or 6 years old, hearing him play on the radio or amongst my family.
I suppose it was the way he "sang" with the guitar that really drew me in initially. However, as a musician myself, although I've studied some of his leads and listened to his phrasing rather closely, I find that he has influenced me as a rhythm player just as much.
A lot of really far-out folks that I've talked to about this will agree with me when I say that he plays off of the reverb. I have heard Jerry's playing on records without any reverb, and it's drastically different. It is still always recognizable, but it's different. His acoustic playing plays off the sympathetic overtones. He's very aware of a "field" of sound.
So when he plays off the reverb, he can make staccato chord strikes, yet induce their sustaining properties through reverb. It's genius, and although many players before him utilized this same sound, it was he who made it beautiful, and a true trait of his sound. The upstrokes involved in his rhythm playing are so natural. He is a true example of how much of the best rhythm playing isn't all in the strumming hand; so much is in the fretting hand.
Watch any talented rhythm player, and unless it's jazz or classical, it's likely that it's just a continuous strumming motion. It's their fretting hand that syncopates the chordal phrasing. Leaving the chord position there but merely lifting the fretting hand stops the chord immediately, leaving only a noteless, percussive, raking rhythm from the strumming hand. There are many possibilities, especially once you start altering the right hand.
The Famous Chuck Berry Rhythm. The all holy "da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da". Many players learned to take this same rhythm, same chord, same notes, same position, and make a slightly different sound out of it by deadening the notes with their fretting hand. Keith Richards, enough said.
I guess what I like about Jerry is that he knew that he sounded like nobody else. He knew that he sounded best with a rather clean, powerful signal from his Fender Twins, and I'm not sure anyone can use a Fender Twin without using the reverb! Fender reverb is the most beautiful spring reverb I've ever heard, and Jerry knew that too. Once you start to break down Garcia's lead playing, you'll find it's rather simple; just innovative. You can learn his licks pretty quickly. What isn't so easy, is getting that punchy, driving Garcia rhythm tone.
Once I learned it, I knew that I could use it for many different things, in many different ways.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thoughts Provoked by Celtic Music

Song: The Dingle Berries by Lunasa

The joyous clash of the double fiddling against a recurring tin whistle melody brings me to a pebble-strewn shore under smoke-gray skies of rain. The beachcombers are heard and the woman strikes a match upon her cigarette. The westerly winds blow the sands o're the dunes and bring them back to friends lost.

To the town of Cork; among men of bravery and drunkery. It is a Sunday and all are done at mass and seated on a revolving stool inside a small building, where spirits flow as well as stout, and where a quartet of smiling troubadours string reels together for the dancers as the sun goes to bed through the stained glass window.

Song: Lots of Drops of Brandy by The Chieftains

I see her standing in her garden, along the shores of the Atty Ocean, praising the salts that cure her wounds. As I approach the village in shoes of brown and pants of gray, I keep my hand on my scally as the wind howls ever-brisk around the corner of the emerald hill.

I pass through winding paths of well-made dwellings of dirt and sand, grass and moss, rock and stone. A distance waltz draws me to Gilly's Pub where the ale is always cold. And once again the sun goes down and I find myself in the cot of a generous lad who stay up all night letting the porter stain his lips.

Song: Bridget Flynn by the Irish Rovers

We must cross rivers to get to our Bridget Flynn. It will be through storms and sorrow, and many a tomorrow, but surely our love will take us far in this life. The singing of an Irishman can thrust pride into any man of any origin

Song: The Whistling Theif by Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy

I don't mind being poor, because there is always something to steal from people who do wrong. It's enjoyable having no one place to lay my head, as I may drop my feet wherever there is coverage from the Donegal rains. The evil ones dismiss me for my whistling but when the suited man's back is turned, I'm quick to reach into his trousers. I once found a gold claddagh and walked four miles to me Ma, only to have her scorn and throw her boy out her cherry door.

Song: Cotati Nights by Lunasa

When the sun goes down during my stay with you, I shall walk to the grand gazebo and count the stars. I am told that one is easily led to the moss swamps under bright moonlight, where the echoes ring strong. I will bring Paddy's lute and sit myself on the mossy rock and play the hornpipe to dancing ghosts. It draws deer and wolves and while I am surrounded by predators, I am never taken away from the beauty of the moonlight through the gnarled pines atop the hungry hill.

A light rain will force the lute back in the sack, and I find myself tramping through the swamp towards a fire-lit light, where I will eventually sit down amongst strangers and accept a strong cup of Barry's and Jameson.

Song: The Trip to Sligo by The Cheiftains

The trip to Sligo was one of trouble, scouring lands of herb and water, fuel for a man in dire need of sleep. The storms came in unexpected, with a chill and a force unsuited for travel, though we travelled more. We had a flute, a tin whistle, and two fiddles. When the storms became too much to bear, we all stood on the Black Mountain Side and played our tune towards the ocean, in hopes that the Great Spirit would hear our prideful tune and turn merciless on our travels.

After two or three or reels, the storm erupted into a hurricane and we stood by our instruments. You fell off the mountain with your whistle. Paddy slipped and followed with his fiddle, dragging his wife and her fiddle with him. I played my whistle as long as I could, but the last image in my mind is free-falling through trees into the blue deep, and my whistle was the last to join us.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Social Criticism: Depression and the Insanity of Government Drug Dealers

I hear a lot of talk nowadays about depression. I actually hear more about antidepressants than the actual depression. I keep hearing about how depression is a "disease", and that it "hurts". Not that these things aren't true, but in the grand scheme of existence and our alignment with mother nature, is depression real?

Travel back in time to the year 1860. Abe Lincoln is elected president, and the Civil War hasn't even started yet. Things are good. Things are simple. People build their own houses. People grow their own food. People hand wash their own clothes. People make their own clothes. Aside from the war, what could people back then possibly be depressed about? Losing at love? A death in the family? Well, yes, definitely. It pretty much ends there, though.

Now, it's the year 2011. Now let's consider what there is to be depressed about nowadays: war? Money? Health care? Nope; none of these things. I have a firm idea, that most of the people suffering from depression nowadays are the victims of decaying self-image brought on by the media. It's all about TV now, and it's all about other people. Every person on television is either happy and living the dream, or handsome/beautiful and on top of the world.

Alternatively, most of the shows on television focus on the pathetic folk; people we can look down on and point our fingers at. Nowadays, folks get depressed because they can't have love/sex right away, or they can't find it within them selves to contribute to society, or because they look at the TV and even in the world around them and find themselves in a "lower place", or "worse off" than others.

Advertisements for antidepressants claim that "you don't know why you feel down, but you just do, and it hurts", and that these "victims" should take their medication to help them live a happy life.

What, and not deal with life at hand? Take drugs?

I can count on two hands the people in my small, close circle of family/friends that take antidepressants. And you know what? They're completely different people. It's the worst when they first go on the meds; a permanent smile stuck on their face, their eyes glossed over and laughing at the stupidest things. It's sickening to me, because I'm aware that these people have more than enough power to look their depression in the face, and see what it can teach them.

That's all depression is in my eyes; a learning experience. Acknowledging your depression is better than suppressing it with drugs (drugs synthesized by the government, mind you), and I just think a lot of people don't even think to do simple things because they're either so distracted by their depression, or they're already suppressed under medication. Go for a walk; draw a picture; write down your thoughts; smoke marijuana; clean your room, organize your files, etc, etc... Most people with depression don't even give these activities the time of day.

We all get depressed. However, I think it's important not to give in to what the government says is "serious", or "a disease", and just sit around in a corner like people used to, and cry it out. Your mind has enough ability to sort things out for you, even if it takes months upon months.

Take your depression to the face. Because otherwise, your just letting the government turn you into a drug addict. Depression can be a good thing and eventually, for some people, what you were once depressed about, actually gets suppressed or "blocked-out" by the depression. Depression is not a disease, but it does hurt. No pain, no gain, though; and this is definitely something that people of today have largely forgotten.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Driving in Massachusetts

Anytime I get into my car, I'm trying to get to where I'm going. Makes sense, right?

So I drive a little fast. It's not a dangerous fast, barely even an illegal fast; maybe five to seven MPH over the speed limit. I comply to the speed limit for city/town driving when someone is in front of me, but if no one is in front of me, I'm cruising.

Highway traveling, is a different issue altogether. The highway has multiple lanes, so fast drivers can pass the slow drivers. But when the slow driver is in the left lane, driving neck and neck with the car in front of you in the right lane, and you're trying to pass, it evokes anger and madness. Why won't they just pull ahead of the car and get back in the right lane like a good driver does? Some people are late for work. Some people are in a rush to get somewhere, and these horrible drivers just get in the way.

If you see a car in your rearview coming up fast on you in your lane, GET OVER TO THE OTHER LANE. Is this so terribly hard to understand? When there are other cars on the highway traveling faster than you, make way for the fast drivers.

Another facet that really bugs me about Mass drivers is the inability to stop before taking a turn off of a street. They think, "Oh, maybe this time no cars will be coming, so I can just pull out onto the main road without stopping!" So they get caught up when they see me coming, and they're halfway out onto the main road, so I have to put on my brakes and let them go, because they're in my way. This is totally unacceptable, and completely dangerous. I may be a fast driver, but I don't just pull out onto a main road without stopping; that's absurd.

And the real clincher out there on the road, is that OLD PEOPLE SHOULD NOT DRIVE. There should be an age, say 70, where it's illegal to drive. Just like it's illegal for you to drive at age 15, I think there should be a cut off when you get to be elderly. Between depleted motor skills, tired vision and hearing, and caution bringing speeds down to 10 in the city and 45 on the highway, they just shouldn't be driving. If it were illegal for them to drive, and they needed to get somewhere, a taxi is just one phone call away, and it's not like old people have no money; they're assisted by the government; they can afford a taxi. It's basically old people not willing to accept their dependence on others, and it just brings danger to the road.

Next, let me just elaborate on how many pickup trucks I see out there driving everyday. NOTE TO THE PEOPLE: YOU ARE WASTING SO MUCH MONEY. I don't care if you're a brain surgeon and you make $250,000 per year; you're wasting money. Doesn't it make you sick that a gallon of gas gets you 13 miles? Did it ever occur to you to buy a hybrid or, gee let's see, a regular automobile? A lot of these truck drivers aren't even hauling stuff around; they simply enjoy being up high on the highway and having bullshit to talk about with the other truck guys (how big the engine is, how much gas it eats, useless aftermarket additions, and so forth). It's so uneconomical, and it's going to drive these people personally into the ground, along with the United States. So, it just makes me cringe to watch these people waste so much money on unnecessary forms of transportation.

Driving in Massachusetts is not a privilege in the least sense. I think that driving should be a privilege and not just a means of getting us to work, or to the market. I mean, when you really think about it, why would you work somewhere that's an hour-and-a-half away from where you live? Just because you got the job, now you're going to commute and blow your salary away on gas? Use your fucking head.

Stop driving automobiles and walk the countryside.