Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Meetings, Fairytales, Cheerleading and a Total Waste of Time

Have you ever gone to a meeting at work where it was an exercise in self-congratulatory mutual masturbation? Have you ever been to a family gathering where it's an incestuous version of speed dating where people talk about themselves in an effort to convince themselves they have a life? Or have you been in any kind of encounter where only positive thoughts are allowed? No negative waves, because it's more comfortable with our heads in the sand or is it up our asses?

All of this is really group narcissism. It's a tribe trying to reinforce not only why it should exist but why it's better than any other tribe. Think of it as an exercise in group-think conditioning.

You might belong to a family as above where when people gather, the exercise is to talk about oneself and how successful he or she is. Lots of families are like this. Generally though, there's an elephant in the room. May be uncle Ernie is a molester, may be half or more of the family are afflicted with alcoholism, or may be dad likes to smack people around. Doesn't matter. There's a narrative to paste over the dog shit like the vinyl façade of that cheap woodgrain plastic film on a 1972 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate Wagon. The fairytale in this particular case is that we're all successful, therefore we're all alright.

This doesn't end at home though. With the same pooper scooper, we bring the same piece of dog shit from home into work or other organizations like church, synagogue or some other social endeavors like sports (lets not forget political parties too. Let's not leave them out of this fun.). So goes the perpetuation of the fairytale. Lots of fairytales. No one wants to be on the losing team. Come on in for the big win. Got your pom-poms?

This time the elephant isn't in the living room, but in all sorts of places. While uncle Ernie's penchant for little people isn't the problem, other things things can be like nepotism, cronyism, harassment, perfidy, parsimony, back stabbing, and all sorts of cultural penury. Some people like to call this politics. What's the narrative? What's the fairytale? What's the self-talk that no matter what the bullshit, the outside world is faced with a smile of confidence that we are all ok? It takes really strong leadership to keep the dog shit float moving. What most successful leaders have is a good case of narcissism. Even Jesus was a narcissist. Wouldn't you call someone a narcissist if they said they were the son of god? What do Jesus, Obama, Steve Jobs and Reagan have in common (and a bunch of others, go to the link below.)? All have the same basic Myers Briggs personality type, ENFJ. Basically, the charismatic bullshit artist. I am getting away from my narrative here a bit, but you need someone really good with a shovel to keep the dog shit merry go round turning. They turn that white and purple polka dot elephant into a loving little Chihuahua. They may make it disappear altogether.

Of course all of their hard work will go down the tubes if it weren't for the cheerleaders. Another term for them are groupies. Gotta love Steve Deace for that one. The cheerleaders make the fairytales, the narratives possible. Without their hard work and supplicance, none of it would be possible. Remember, every tribe has a leader, and every leader has their henchmen. Just the way it is.

Groupies of course are much more dangerous than any narcissistic leader. These are the same assholes that make everything that is bad happen. Behind every despot is a peon looking for affirmation, approbation and validation. Beware of these creeps, they will ruin your day if not your life.

So where's the poop? There's plenty of poop to go around, as anyone who has lived long enough on this planet can attest, and it's usually handed out in disproportionate servings. Your serving size is inversely proportional to your status. Not only that, but the job of those above you, particularly those in leadership (remember the narcissists), is to ensure that. In fact, repeatability and reliability of business processes are paramount in any successful business and this extends to other enterprises as well, even back to our fictitious family. Reinforcement of the narrative, the fairytale is how the family will ensure if not reflect success. If not that, then at least be in a comfortable state of denial.

Basically, the poop is everywhere you look. We are human and therefore are capable of great scatological enterprises. It almost goes without saying. The biggest mistake is to bring attention to the narrative, the fairytales, the consequences of the tribe. God forbid you not only find the poop, but point it out. The tribe does not suffer well those who fall outside the ring of believers. This is because not only must the stink of the poop not be found, it must be worshipped as well. That's right, worship the poop. Those that create the poop must be continually comfortable in their scatological enterprise. If you do point out the poop, you will be burned at the stake.

So where does this leave us in this particular narrative? Beware of poop, narcissists, groupies, and tribes? Unfortunately, we will always have to beware of these. It's human nature to want to be right, to want to be on the winning team, to want to enforce will. That's not going away anytime soon. What does this mean? One, there's a place where the poop is tolerable for each of us. There's a pile of poop meant just for you. Really. And it won't be so bad. Two, choose your fights well. Getting burned at the stake over something that one,  isn't going to change and two, something that if it did, at what price, isn't worth it. Family, friends and country, in that order. That's what you fall on your sword for. Your family really is the only tribe that matters. Ultimately, work, your favorite sports team and not even a political party matter in the sense of application of tribal bullshit. Does the GOP go to work with me everyday and fix that pile of poop? Do any of the Yankees half to leave work early to pick up my kid from band practice? Will anyone outside of my own family really give a rats ass when I take the dirt nap? No and not really to any of it.

Most shit in life is a total waste of time and fairytales, meetings and cheerleaders are no exception. They serve to enforce the will of the tribe, sometimes through delusion, sometimes through perfidy, sometimes by accident. Most of the time by shear repetition. The object is to see through the dog shit and see it for what it is. It's dog shit. Let the world go its wanton way and do what you can when you should. Don't confuse your loyalties outside your family with family. And to the diversity and why don't we all hold hands and get along crowd, the smallest minority in the universe is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. Also, real change doesn't start with the tribe or the village, it always starts with one person who thinks differently. That's what Steve says, anyway.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Would Anyone Do?

Taking the family out for dinner is always an excursion into frustration at times. Because of predictability, we tend to patronize the same places and even then, the factor of undecidedness rears its ugly head.

The other night, we went to Applebees with the family plus one exchange student from Germany we had been hosting for a few weeks. As the ritual goes, the college student cum ersatz waiter/waitress introduces him/herself and asks what we want to drink to start off. You've been to this drill, so it's nothing new. I order my normal iced tea and procede to peruse the menu.

In my minds eye I notice the throng in various stages of prandial wrangling and say to myself, what should I order? In a fit of autodidactic expulsion, I go off on myself: What would Jesus do? What would Ronnie do? What would Ghandi do? What the fuck will I do?

At this point our garçon du jour returns with drinks and asks around the table what each of us will be ordering. Well, Ronnie, Jesus and Ghandi are dead. They can't help here and two of them wouldn't have a clue as to what to order on the menu or  be inclined to. In this moment of indecision, for something as simple as eating, I came to a conclusion: All of us have to decide for ourselves.

Humans have a rather feckless and lazy habit of relying on others experiences to help them make decisions on how to run their lives, what to do day to day or to help get past a current problem. Some even seem to delve into scriptural steganography in order to find some hidden meaning to life or even what color they should paint their house. Relying on proven experience is a shortcut than can save a lot of pain and trouble. Why pay for the same real estate twice? Right?  On the other hand, it tends to circumvent our own internal rational processes and experiences for a subset of someone else's. It's a template for complacency and manipulation if taken to an extreme. Who cares what Ronnie, Jesus or Ghandi would do. They aren't here, they can't help, and to be honest, they aren't you or I, living in the experience that we are. At some point, we have to make the decision ourselves and that is where the rubber hits the road.

At this point the waiter works his way around the table and it's my turn to put in my order. What will it be? Since having lap band surgery a year ago, I am a little limited to what I can eat and should eat. I avoid the crap with fries, pop, and fried foods. At this point though, I am tired of the sam old, same old. I mean, should I try something different? Shouldn't I strive for change? Should I take the chance and possibly barf, giving the exchange student something to write home about (The lap bad has its own consequences in what you can eat)? Variety is the spice of life, right? At that point,  I circle back to my original thesis, which is to say, What would Ronnie do? What would Jesus do? What would Ghandi do? What will I do? What would anyone do? What is the rational thing to do? What do I feel like doing? It was a fit of analysis paralysis. For me that is deadly. Being a Myers-Briggs ISTP, making quick decisions based on sensory data is a forte. Getting hung up isn't. Usually this happens when there is either too much data or processes. Or I just can't make up my mind. May be I would have been better off asking, What would Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Mel Gibson (God Forbid), George S Patton or Ulysses S Grant would do. At least they are fellow ISTPs and their experiences a closer to mine than Jesus, Ronnie or Ghandi, who had the same types of personality (ENFJ which by the way, is the most conflictual personality with ISTPs). The clock is ticking, WWJD?

I simply ordered what I always do. The Santa Fe Chicken Salad. It always works for me...Next time though, I will try something different. I promise.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Obama, the Culturally Incompetent President

In what only can be construed as an insult, Obama has refused to visit a sikh temple in India because he would be required to cover his head.

In today's world of multi-culturalism and diversity, I find it odd that the person who probably represents it fairly well, has turned out to be a parochial, provincial and narrow minded when it comes to covering his head in the Golden Temple.

As seen to the right, Barry has no issue dressing in the local muslim garb of his homeland. In fact he has covered his head. How odd. If he did it for Kenyans, why not for the Sikhs?

I wouldn't object if I was invited to a Sikh temple. In fact, I find Indian people charming, I love their food (the mint chutney is outstanding), and Sikhs specifically have and interesting religion and culture. Read here from the Wiki:

The origins of Sikhism lie in the teachings of Guru Nanak and his successors. The essence of Sikh teaching is summed up by Nanak in these words: "Realisation of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living".[5] Sikh teaching emphasizes the principle of equality of all humans and rejects discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, and gender. Sikh principles do not attach any importance to asceticism as a means to attain salvation, but stresses on the need of leading life as a householder.
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion.[6][7] Sikhism is a revealed religion.[8] In Sikhism, God—termed Vāhigurū—is shapelesstimeless, and sightlessniraṅkārakāl, and alakh. The beginning of the first composition of Sikh scripture is the figure "1"—signifying the universality of God. It states that God is omnipresent and infinite, and is signified by the term ēk ōaṅkār.[9] Sikhs believe that before creation, all that existed was God and Its hukam (will or order).[10] When God willed, the entire cosmos was created. From these beginnings, God nurtured "enticement and attachment" to māyā, or the human perception of reality.[11]
While a full understanding of God is beyond human beings,[9] Nanak described God as not wholly unknowable. God is omnipresent (sarav viāpak) in all creation and visible everywhere to the spiritually awakened. Nanak stressed that God must be seen from "the inward eye", or the "heart", of a human being: devotees must meditate to progress towards enlightenment. Guru Nanak Dev emphasized the revelation through meditation, as its rigorous application permits the existence of communication between God and human beings.[9] God has no gender in Sikhism, (though translations may incorrectly present a male God); indeed Sikhism teaches that God is "Nirankar" [Niran meaning "without" and kar meaning "form", hence "without form"]. In addition, Nanak wrote that there are many worlds on which God has created life.[12]

Seems more reasonable than Islam, that's for sure, although I don't want to be accused of pitting religions, but their religion seems progressive by even today's standards, particularly with regards to equal rights. You would think that Barry would honor such a religion. I guess not. May be he's not a fan of curry. 

I would remind Barry that India is a capitalist democracy in an area of the world where that is a rare thing and should be supported. In fact, outside of our European allies and Israel, India is a friend, always. We should respect that friendship and honor it. He has done neither. 

Thank you for reading this blog. Namaste. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Exclusive: Chris Christie to Campaign for Charlie Baker

Newsflash at Libertarian Republican:

Chris Christie is about to announce that he will be campaigning for Massachusetts republican governor  candidate Charlie Baker later this week. Eric Dondero is developing this story so return back later for more news regarding this story.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Libertarian Politics Live: Andre Traversa and The Right Guy with Guest Michel Faulkner

Tomorrow, Thursday, October 7, Michel Faulkner will be the special guest on Libertarian Politics Live. Michael is running against Charles Rangel of the 15th Congressional District in Harlem, NY.

Mr Faulkner is running as a republican in a staunchly democrat district, where Rangel won the nomination this year with 51% of the vote in a field of five. What is prescient though is that Rangel has not been endorsed by any of his primary opponents and there is in fact a movement of Democrats for Faulkner. The reason for this is that Rangel is charged with some serious ethics violations and his attitude is one of indifference. This only goes to Mr Faulkner's advantage.

Tune in on Thursday evening at Libertarian Politics Live, where we get to interview an up and coming member of the republican party.

Second guest TBA.

Host Andre Traversa, Co-Host Jim Lagnese, call in at 646-915-9887.

Thank you for reading this blog.

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