Losing Faith while Praying the Bad Men Away

You may lose me here but I used to have a strong relationship with “God” when I was a kid. My mother was very religious and together we would pray before I went to bed and when I would wake up everyday. The praying wasn’t like in the movies where kids would kneel by their beds and actually talk to god asking for something like writing to Santa. It was more of a mantra that would put me into a meditative state–sort of like a trance. I would do this ritualistic act twice a day and it would put my mind at ease. It would allow me to easily fall into a deep sleep and wake up refreshed in the morning.

I remember I was so good at getting into this meditative state that I believed I could go deep enough into this world that I would never come back. I firmly believed I could  shut my brain off and die. Not in a scary suicidal sense but in a crazy metaphysical way. I also felt this childhood magic was beneficial to my well being as I was getting good grades and praise for my creativity. I was able to do anything because I could focus on the task at hand with the utmost clarity.

So what happened?

I entered high school and was bullied almost every single day. I would tell my mother about the bullies and her answer was to pray more. I then put it upon myself to wake up at 6 AM on school days and pray for hours to make the bullies stop. It was torture and I was miserable. I wont go into detail but they were picking on me because I was a visible minority. The bullying went on for a year and so did my praying. It wasn’t until the second year when it finally broke me and I lost my faith. I stopped praying and confronted the bullies. I sarcastically would play along with them to the point they would laugh at how ridiculous it was and the situation would diffuse. The evil smoke hole kids found a lot of respect for me. I had won and realized through humour I was accepted into every clique. I was the plainswalker. I then dominated my entire high school from starting as the outcast nerd to becoming the most popular kid.

So what happened?

I peaked. The rich hipster kids introduced me to alcohol and shitty music. The poor smoke hole kids gave me access to drugs and even shittier music. I felt a big hole from the absence of my daily prayer routine and turned to psychedelic hallucinogens to continue my adventures in metaphysically spelunking. I would trip on psilocybin mushrooms twice a week for a year until I couldn’t keep them down anymore.

I was at my peak and done. Nothing made me happy. I had zero motivation to do anything. My mind was full of so many thoughts, doubts, and worries that I ruined my academic career. I was emotionally tired all the time and stopped showing up to class in my senior year when I was student council president. It was really bad and lead to an avalanche of poor choices.

Now I’m not saying I’ve become some sort of hippy dippy religious freak or anti drug  lamer. I’m just saying balance is important and don’t knock meditation. I understand now what “prayer” is all about and why it worked for me. I hope I can do it again and it’s not too late to regain the power to focus on my dreams and achieve what I set out to do 20 years ago. And I’m not afraid to admit my mistakes, swallow my pride, and do the right thing for myself. I don’t care if I’m an old, bald, white whiskered Billy now. I’m still that kid from 20 years ago full of fire and hope. Something burning inside of me kept me young at heart, kept me from doing anything too stupid that would keep me from being here and typing this out to you. Now let’s stop being cheesy and do something with ourselves.

Say your prayers and go to sleep.

 

Wake Up and Smell the Rotting Carp

I’m going to try to blog at least once a day to keep my mind from going like a 70 year old doing their Sudoku after an unsatisfying lunch. It feels like I woke up from a coma or walked away from serving 15 years in solitary confinement. I don’t know what happen–know exactly what happened but I don’t feel comfortable writing about it yet. Is that bad?

Writing in a LiveJournal or my ghetto geocities page 17 years ago had a sense of anonymity. The internet was this secret thing that didn’t matter to anyone except us dregs of sorrow. Now you are weird if you aren’t connected to the web at all times with a smartphone radiating your tender parts. When did people stop caring about the people who actually care about them and start chasing likes, views, and favorites from strangers and spambots?

What made me once feel ahead of the times is no longer my secret something. This private world which I would once run away to is now closely monitored by potential employers, government agencies, and friends you sometimes need a break from. What happened? Did I grow old and the world passed me by? Am I going to be bitter with the rest of my generation who didn’t cash in on creating insidiously monetized social networks, boring business app middleware, and manipulative free-to-play mobile games? Oh the dreamer that never woke up in time for class, didn’t chase a lucrative career, and stopped bothering to keep up with his peers. Where did you go? Fishing I guess.

Canada’s Post-War Benefit (November 6, 1998)

I wrote this for grade 9 history. The citation page is missing.

Man’s greatest abomination is war. After the world had just gotten over the First World War, the madness imerged once again. Hitler had unveiled and unleashed the Nazi war machine upon the world. Hitler’s Nazi Germany was essentially about hatred. Hitler blamed innocent “scapegoats” of being the cause of the 1932 Depression. The German people were unemployed, hungry and very angry. Hitler’s ideology, of the “superior race” and the cleansing of all other inferior races through genocide, was brainwashed into the minds of Germans. Thus began the Second World War.

For all the horrors of war there were some countries that benefited from its outcome. Canada, a colonial backwater had achieved being of international importance. The war had dragged Canada out of the depression. Canada had been strengthened, not only economically but socially as well. It is hard to believe that good could actually come out of war, but it stands to be true.

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Car Deal (Sept. 14, 1998)

This is a recently unearthed journal entry I wrote in grade 9 destreamed English.

My uncle has always told me that if I ever go to buy a Honda, check the serial number for a “J” in the third digit. That would indicate the car was produced in Japan. If there wasn’t a “J”, the car was most likely produced in North America, which meant a snot nosed, over paid person had made it with the least in effort.

You see, my uncle had taken pride in his 1985 Honda Civic. He always said, “Japanese engines will last forever.” He was right, the engine did last. The only problem was it out lasted the body. We had all agreed that it was time for my uncle to get a new car.

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Retcon or Interesting Multiverse Possiblities in Film

You know how Hollywood always glosses over things in history? Like if it’s in a multimillion dollar blockbuster film it will be sanitized to not step on anyone’s toes and get the maximum market appeal. I’m drawing blank on some examples at the moment because I’m excited to write down these thoughts: imagine a movie set in the past but void of racism and traditional gender roles. Like what if a social justice warrior was able to rewrite history.

Yeah like maybe a time traveler that goes back to prevent slavery, religious persecution, and patriarchy and how it changed present day. Think about everything slaves and cheap labour built. How long would it take society to build infrastructures without subjugation and war? Would present day be total shit?

Wonder if this was ever explored in a Quantum Leap episode.

Coffee Should Be Made Illegal

So as you may know I got a G.I. track infection from eating some expired blue cheese after performing at an open mic. It gave me explosive diarrhea for an entire week and then the following week I had massive constipation. The insane push and pull on my anus caused monsterous hemorrhoids and a fissure in my hairy butt. Every bowel movement felt like giving birth. I couldn’t figure out why I was so terribly constipated until I realized I haven’t drank coffee in 2 weeks.

I’m horribly addicted to coffee and after some googling about I found a lot of people get constipated once they stop drinking java cold turkey. Holy shit! My body forgot how to shit without a Starbucks blast of bean water to the colon.

What the fuck? I need to drink coffee to shit. What happens if I survive a plane crash on an island or something? Do I need to carry instant coffee in a back pocket at all times in case of emergencies? This is a goddamn nightmare. I don’t want to be dependent on a substance to shit. I read people who give up smoking go through this. I’m don’t want to be a caffeine junky!

I also read that the only way to really give up coffee is to ween yourself off gradually. I never understood what decaf was for until now. Now I’m gonna be that guy with the decaf at checkout.

What I learned: Don’t drink coffee or drink it all the time.

Avant-Garde to MTV: Appropriating Pure Cinema

The influence of the 1920s French Avant-garde film movement is clearly evident in the techniques used in the production of modern day music videos. These techniques birthed by post war French cubist, surrealist, Dadaist, and futurist artists, who according to Cook, “had [become] intensely interested in the possibilities of film to embody dream states and to express modernist conceptions of time and space,” (Cook, 2004, p. 303) had crafted a style of film making that heavily relied on a visual rhythm. The rhythmic ballet produced through the repetition of shapes and images as seen in Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique (1924) and the incoherent, dream like brutal and erotic images of Luis Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou (1929) were key influences in the development of the aesthetics of MTV style editing. However, despite sharing similar visual styles and themes, they part ways in vision, as the French Avant-garde’s purpose was to achieve a pure cinema, an art form that was strictly filmic and void of influences from other media, whereas MTV’s appropriation of the 1920s art was clearly used for commercial purposes such as the sale of musical recordings and lifestyles. Continue reading