Our Strange Relationship With Sleep

I have an awkward sleep schedule. And I hate it.

Perhaps I have a different biology, but I need 8 hours….hell, I need MORE than 8 hours. But between working night shifts and hammering out thousands of words a day, I’ve developed a shitty schedule that alternates between 4 and 12 hours of sleep. And I feel it. It’s not natural. I never know what day it is. Yet if you’ve been around enough idiots like I have, many like to brag about their alarming lack of sleep.

“I only slept two hours and have worked 40 hours of overtime this week!”

Why would you be proud of that? You’re essentially affirming that you’re a slave.

But this is where we find ourselves. It’s become a virtue to sell our souls to minimum wage and decry rest. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”, many like to proclaim. Yet in making such proclamations, we’re driving ourselves closer to death!

In America, we like to blow our wads early. Perhaps it’s that way everywhere. But we believe in youth. We believe in racing to the top. The clock is always ticking, and we’re running out of seconds. In order to be successful, we have to manage our time wisely. The biggest time waster? Sleep. We don’t view life as a pleasurable stroll in the park…it’s a mother fucking sprint.

So we’re raising generation after generation of miserable pricks, whose sole purpose in life is to not be happy, but to be monetarily successful. Because it’s not enough to be content with oneself, but others must also look upon you with awe. That’s what matters most of all. So fuck smelling the roses, fuck being happy…there’s too much work to be done.

Meanwhile, companies are making record profits and productivity has skyrocketed. And those at the bottom are working longer hours, getting less sleep, and none of it is showing up on their paycheck. Hard work doesn’t make YOU successful, only the company you work for. Yet they might make you feel important by promoting you to middle management….which equals to nothing but longer hours with slightly more pay. It’s only the illusion of success that companies are selling.

I don’t know, maybe that last part has nothing to do with anything.

But one of my favorite books is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. Mind you, sometimes I get that book and Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order mixed up. So I might get the origins of my facts confused. Yet one of the things I learned from Harari’s book is the sudden development of production-based societies out of hunter-gatherer societies. It more or less began with the domestication of wheat (or as stated in the book….”wheat domesticated humans”), then suddenly humans go from working maybe two hours a day to being actively employed. The causes of such a shift can be debated, and there are likely many, but the result was disastrous (according to Harari) because it created widespread malnourishment among other societal and health problems. (Just read the book)

While this transformation out of hunter-gatherer societies has brought about many technological and humanitarian achievements, we’ve also traded in our natural habitat for an artificially produced one. OR, as Allen Horwitz and Jerome Wakefield might say…we left our Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation, where our psychology evolved to fit the needs of hunter-gatherer societies (where much of human history occurred), and we are now surviving in the modern world. We might be living longer, which might lead one to believe that we are “healthier”, but leaving the hunting fields for the factories and offices has come at the cost of our mental health. As a result, what might’ve been considered natural responses to stress have been manipulated to fit the criteria of anxiety, depression, and a host of other “disorders”, because they don’t quite fit in with behaviors of the modern world.

Therefore, we are now a nation of heavily medicated assholes. A lack of sleep isn’t the only cause of this problem, but the pressures of modernity have certainly made less sleeping a “virtue”…which in turn, leads to more stress…which leads to more “disordered” behavior.

Many like to claim that they don’t need 8 hours of sleep, but I’m calling bullshit.

In this Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation, it is highly unlikely that individuals needed less than 8 hours of sleep to meet the demands of their culture. Not saying it didn’t happen, but such occurrences were likely rare. Probably not enough to change the chemistry of the brain. And we have LARGE FUCKING BRAINS compared to our body size. It’s not as easy as shutting it down for a couple of hours each day and saying “good enough”. Such a complex system needs maintenance. Therefore, you’re not getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night because “you don’t need it”…it’s likely a result of stress brought upon by external factors or a “disordered” behavior (like anxiety), and continuing to not get enough sleep only exasperates the problem.

Look, I’m not saying there aren’t those abnormal folks that don’t need a full 8 hours. I’m just saying that there’s probably not enough of them out there to where I meet 5 or 6 a day. As a general rule, if you think you’re this person…you aren’t.

I had a friend that justified his lack of sleep by saying “when you’re asleep, it’s like you’re dead”. He was also a dick to everyone. While it’s easy to call this person an idiot, it’s also the attitude most of us take.

We’re bombarded with the message “Do more”. Go the extra mile at work. Continue to stack up college diplomas. Cut out any wasteful time that might impede your progress…to include a basic life function…sleep!

But to what end? Does it make us happier? Are we really doing those things to help ourselves? Or are we really doing them to put on the façade…to disguise the fact that we’re corporate slaves…beholden only to the almighty dollar? When we lose sleep, we’re benefiting no one. We’re only affirming that our will is controlled by something else.

Soo….do less?

I don’t know. But just look at human beings as a species. We’re mother fucking animals, yet we put on slacks, stress over money, work over 40 hours a week, and purposefully make ourselves miserable. How’s that for being “evolved”?

“Let’s Get Sober” Podcast: There Are No Second Chances in America

Copy of LET's GeT Sober (4)

It’s surreal to go back listen to some of the things I said before rehab. For me, at least.

I was revisiting the Let’s Get Sober podcast. Being extremely busy the last few days, I haven’t really had the time to write up any new posts. I’ve been hitting the ground running on revitalizing the philosophy side of Philosophy Redux…in addition to working full time and working on other projects….that I had to fill this blog with something to keep momentum going.

And then I came across episode 7.

It’s not my best work, but it did remind me of an event earlier this year that rattled me. Being of “liberal mind”, I like to think that anything is forgivable, as long as someone paid their dues and was remorseful.

Come to find out, that’s easier said that done.

Being in AA rooms, you find that everybody has stories of regret. As the saying goes, “No one attends AA because they’re on a winning streak.” So it’s easy to find forgiveness in these halls because nearly everyone has traversed similar paths.

But some go too far.

I believe the person that expressed his actions was genuinely remorseful, but I simply couldn’t look the man in the eye. I was disgusted by everything he said. But when all was said and done….I was far more disgusted with my reaction.

I’ve said before that America isn’t ready for criminal justice reform. Myself included. Our feelings of moral superiority plague us. But as I said (not so eloquently) in the podcast “there’s a Dennis Hopper in all of us” (it’ll make sense when you listen to it). And the only way to keep the monster at bay is to understand it, rather than ignore it. When we reckon with these demons, then America will be ready for such reforms.

Here’s the episode below. As a reminder, this happened in April. Not at a recent meeting.

Additionally, back in May, I wrote another post that somewhat explores my drunken behavior.

THE BLIND SIDE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
I relapsed yesterday.

I don’t know what it is about me. Yet everywhere I go, I manage to piss someone off. Yesterday, in the bar, someone wanted to hit me. I don’t recall it. I don’t recall, at any point, being angry or upset. But somehow, somebody wanted to punch me in the face. It is by the grace of God that I have never been severely injured. Nor did I get thrown out of the bar. So once again I dodged a bullet.

I suppose a buddy of mine saved me from myself. He thought the encounter was hilarious.

It doesn’t really matter if it’s not entirely my fault. I don’t like contributing to people’s bad nights.

The closest I ever got to being critically injured was the night I didn’t attend my college graduation. Under the influence of alcohol, energy drinks, and likely drugs, I blacked out. Not a single thing that I remember for nearly two hours. When I did regain consciousness, I was being held face down on the kitchen floor. My arm extended out as a man was preparing to break it. There was a party that night, and apparently everybody left due to my erratic behavior. The gentleman holding me down was hosting the party.
Somehow I talked my way out of getting my arm broken. The same mouth that got me into trouble also got me out. The following morning he explained to me what happened. I don’t know if his story was true, and it didn’t matter.

Stress can cause people to have strange experiences. The fact that I angered all of my friends, and didn’t know how, caused me to have an out-of-body experience. In the months leading up to the event, I was inebriated everyday. Finally, there was a moment of sobriety. I had a meltdown.

I don’t know why I started drinking yesterday. I just found myself drunk. Then ended up at the bars and left without remembering anything. There’s a blind spot in my consciousness, a side of me that I just can’t see. I’d like to think that I’m in control. Yet clearly I’m not.

And that’s what terrifies me.

-May, 2017

The Curse of Passion

In rehab, people argue all of the time. Especially in group meetings.

Although I thought that these arguments were a complete waste of time, I nevertheless engaged them. I mean, why not?

The last “debate” I got into, some kid was trying to define the meaning of success. He wanted to be a YouTube sensation. He was going to be a rapper/DJ, and expected to be a millionaire by 30.

Most people would have simply rolled their eyes or discarded this conversation as nothing but a misguided dream of youth. But I was having none of it. For him, it was all about the money and the “bitches”.

Someone needed to speak up.

“So you’re not in it for the music?” I asked. I probably should have called him out for calling women “bitches” as well, I feel kinda bad about that.

But this conversation has sort of stuck in my crawl.

Not because it was the dreams of some kid. If he becomes successful, good for him. But because it’s a total lack of commitment to craft. Where’s the story? Where’s the love? Where’s the conflict? WHERE’S THE PASSION?

And he’s not the only one. If you’ve spent any amount of time around pretentious white people, it isn’t long before you hear “I’m writing a book”. Like they want you to heap praise onto them for something they haven’t completed yet.

If you truly love something, you won’t give a fuck what people think. One shouldn’t go into the arts for the appreciation of others. Sadly, that’s why MOST people are attracted to it. Not gonna lie, there’s probably some part of my subconscious that’s attracted to that end. But if that’s the primary motivation, you and me are bound to be disappointed. Art, to a degree, is to be cathartic….a release of one’s own emotions, to create something that’s reflective of the artist.

It won’t matter if it’s appreciated, as long as the final product is something the artist truly wanted to construct. The objective isn’t to make something that others want to see, but to create something YOU want to see.

How true one is to their own passion is the genius of art. To FEEL it, one must be brave enough to face their own realities. Which is why most of the great artists are (were) absolutely insane.

TO BE great is to be insane. Which is why passion is not a gift to the possessor….but is a curse.

Again, think back to Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ. Christ never at any point felt blessed that he had to die for all of humanity. He was burdened by it. To take pleasure in it would have meant that it wasn’t a sacrifice at all. Christ had gifts and was given a duty of heavy burden….to have gifts, and be “blessed” with the burden of genius is no blessing.

The saying “dance like no one’s watching” is such a cliché. It’s thrown around haphazardly without any sort of thought. But do we have the courage to practice it? I believe that it was Diogenes that went around Ancient Greece arguing with himself. It didn’t matter if you acknowledge the shit he was saying, it was important to him. He had such conviction in his lifestyle and philosophy, that he infamously didn’t give a fuck that he was talking to Alexander the Great. Nowadays, we’d just consider this person clinically insane or blow them off as simply being a homeless person.

In those days, that person was a philosopher!

But Western society has become too formalized to permit the normalization of such behavior. While simultaneously wishing to break out of such social demands, we also steadfastly uphold them. We don’t do this through any legalized practice, but (if I’m understanding this correctly) through a Zizekian (or Lacanian) “Big Other”. Or through some invisible order that socialized peoples attempt to abide by. This, in my view, hasn’t KILLED artistic genius, but has shifted it around the struggle between duty and meaning to one’s self and their responsibility as a socialized creature. Therefore, partly explaining why a Diogenes-like thinking is difficult to come by these days.

So while artistic genius hasn’t be killed (or rather, it’s been shifted), it has been stymied by the predominance of this “Big Other”. Or rather, modern artists attempt to appeal to this Big Other (a non-existent entity), which in turn jeopardizes the integrity of their work. Artists begin to see their own worth in how others perceive them…which is an anxiety that’s perpetuated by the prevalence digital media outlets. We, as spectators, partake in this “Big Other” by rewarding and consuming cheap content. Therefore merit is not found in quality or genuine artistic genius, but through clicks, likes, and shares.

Art is not a democracy.

We can argue that these threats have been made against art since the beginning of time. Censorship might have been the greatest threat once, but in our own era it has become the “tyranny of the majority” for a lack of a better description. This new threat promotes not artistic genius, but the drive to be noticed rather than being true to one’s craft.

So once again, we find ourselves struggling to find authenticity. Which is why the world of Blade Runner is so relevant now.

Speaking of which, I find it funny that so many of the criticisms of Blade Runner: 2049 are similar to the ones from the 1982 film. If you went in expecting to see Ryan Gosling mow down an army of replicants, then you’re an idiot. People were also expecting that in 1982 and they missed out on one of the greatest films of all time. Blade Runner: 2049 isn’t an action film, it’s genuine sci-fi. And since it’s underperforming at the box office, you’d be doing the film, and yourself, a great disservice by avoiding it. It’s truly a cinematic experience, so go shell out a few dollars and three hours of your life and go see this movie!

 

Thought of the Day: The NFL Protests and Returning to Philosophy

I’m a football nerd.

I’m trying to enjoy the sport before it’s outlawed or people quit watching it due to overexposure or boycott.

And truthfully, I haven’t really given two thoughts towards this “kneeling” thing. It was interesting while Colin Kaepernick was doing it. He was actually talking about police brutality. Now everyone’s doing it, and nobody knows why.

I mean, I could be wrong. But has anybody actually talked about police brutality or a criminal justice system that biased against African-Americans in regards to the NFL protest?

Is it to protest Trump? Who gives a shit what that guy thinks? Hasn’t the Left learned that the guy is just a troll? The more attention you pay to him, the stronger he gets. The man is President and he still only cares about ratings and retweets. Continue to look his way whenever he says something stupid, and he’ll just mobilize his massive followers to victory in 2020.

So for once in your life, follow the best advice the internet has ever provided: don’t feed the troll.

The only way that this protest makes any sense is if players are pissed off that Matt Cassel has a job and Kaepernick doesn’t. And that is a protest I can get behind. But if this thing is going to continue, let’s keep our eye on the ball (get it?) and talk about the subjects that really matter: criminal justice reform, mass incarceration, and police bias against Black Lives.

I mean, again, I could be wrong….but wasn’t that what Kaepernick’s protest was about? That seems to have been lost somewhere in the shuffle.

But I won’t beat a dead horse here. Enough has been said about it from sportscasters, pundits, and others. To me, it doesn’t really mean anything if you’re only doing it to give a big FU to some idiot….and NOT doing it to bring light to important issues. Now, it’s only a drama hour to boost Trump’s ratings…as evidenced by sending Mike Pence to a game, only to have him walk out of it!

What a waste of an (already unimportant) office!

But I digress…

Engaging in this cheap Trump drama hour can only damage the intellect. I’ve mentioned previously that I felt politics have a far more damaging impact on society than pornography. Under a President Trump, this problem has been only made worse. So I gotta move on…

I’ve been slowly returning to health. Since getting out of rehab, I’ve been such a busy body….working long hours, engaging in outside projects….that I’ve neglected the intellectual integrity of this blog. I’ve been rereading some of the old My Life With Kant stuff and old posts. And a lot of that stuff was really out there. I miss that.

So it’s time that I make a return.

I’ve talked shit about Ancient Greek philosophy before. For no particular reason, I was just too lazy to read it. But now I’m going to reassess that outlook.

So it’s time to pound the books and dig through the Stanford Internet Encyclopedia because philosophy is back (in a few days).

 

 

Thought of the Day: The Appeal to Safety

The rallying argument of conservative media during the past few days, in defense of particular freedoms granted by the 2nd Amendment, have been thus:

It’s the price of freedom.

You, me, or any of our loved ones can be shot and killed at any moment. But that’s what it means to live in a free society. Safety cannot be guaranteed.

And in fairness, it’s not a bad argument. Especially when we consider how guns and assault weapons have been available in American society. In many sectors, they play a huge part in that culture. Can sweeping legislation easily take away these so-called “freedoms”?

Some have brought up Prohibition. Alcohol has had as much of a damaging effect on society as guns, yet when America experimented with banning it, it failed miserably. Some fear the same fate awaits America again should the 2nd Amendment be repealed.

Others have argued that having armed citizens is necessary towards preventing a tyrannical government. In fact, they continue, that’s the very purpose behind the 2nd Amendment. The Founding Fathers were such geniuses, that everything they ever said and did is applicable for America today. Take away the 2nd Amendment, suddenly the government has the power to overrun its citizens.

And it’s only a matter of time before that happens.

The Left, meanwhile, doesn’t quite take this argument seriously. Naturally. I’ve seen some go as far to argue that the government has the responsibility to protect us from gun-wielding madmen….that safety MUST be guaranteed. That the 2nd Amendment is outdated, and owning a gun adds nothing to our freedoms. The dangers that they present only tread on our freedoms.

I don’t live in a world where one argument has a monopoly on truth. I will personally never own a gun. I’m not paranoid about the government. Owning a gun seems like overkill. I have no personal interest in ever killing someone, even for protection because such occasions are extreme and rare. And although one could ARGUE (not that I agree with it) that guns make society as a whole safer…they do not make ME safer. They more than likely put me in danger, along with everyone I know.

At the same time, I can’t allow myself to walk around in the world paranoid that I’m going to get shot. While I like to think the government is looking out for me, I take the presumption that safety IS my responsibility….because that is the price we pay for living in a free society.

While I ultimately agree with what gun-enthusiasts are arguing, even right down to the balance of power maintained by having armed citizens…what gun owners and 2nd Amendment defenders fail to take into account is the price we pay for living in a free society.

What? Am I repeating myself?

Basically citizens are free to choose what we find acceptable in modern society. While guns were once considered an acceptable choice…that is increasingly falling out of vogue. Times change, and citizens are finding the necessity of possessing automatic weapons unacceptable. Those that own them are being seen as paranoid, overcompensating, or downright dangerous. This may not ever become reflected in our legislation, but the perception is changing against guns and the people that own them. And that will be the downfall of gun-culture (if there is to be a downfall).

And THAT’S the price we pay for living in a free society.

Of course, the Right can counter with the whole “tyranny of the majority” argument. But that’s not what this is about.

Personally, I thought that the Left had some audacity to utilize this “appeal to safety” in their recent talking points. It wasn’t that long ago that George W. Bush was President. There was the Patriot Act. And everyone was arguing that in a free society, safety cannot be guaranteed. Because we can’t allow our need for safety to trample on our freedoms.

Or, as Ben Franklin said “those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”. I recall that every liberal was chanting that saying (regardless of whether or not that’s what Franklin meant). And now, it’s the conservative’s turn to use this line.

What kind of world are we living in?

While I’m sympathetic to the anti-gun movement, I believe that it’s important for the Left to not fall into the “safety over liberty” trap. It’s not a winning argument, it’s hypocritical, and it goes against everything that liberals should stand for. But it just goes to show how easy it is to use this logic.

No side has a monopoly on truth. Additionally, neither side is immune to being ignorant.

“More Human Than Human”

When I first heard that they were making a sequel to Blade Runner, I thought “why?”

Can’t Hollywood and Ridley Scott leave well enough alone?

Blade Runner, although left open-ended, didn’t seem to be a film that needed a sequel. It was high brow science fiction. It wasn’t a loud action film that many wanted it to be. I assumed that if there was going to be a Part II, Ridley Scott would find a way to cheapen a world that influenced the aesthetics of many films after it.

I was wrong.

In fact, Blade Runner 2049 is superior to the 1982 film in every way. I was quite relieved when I heard that Denis Villeneuve was tasked to direct. He opened up that world in a way that, quite frankly, Ridley Scott never had the chops to do. Blade Runner, with all its visual glory, really doesn’t live up to its potential despite its influence. It was big, asked important questions, and even brought out iconic performances from Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and others… but it still feels like a mess that left a lot on the table.

Villeneuve brought out that world. A world that Scott simply couldn’t explore, either through his own limitations or limitations of the time.

(My only complaint is that Vangelis didn’t come back to do the soundtrack. No disrespect to Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. But what the hell else Vangelis doing? That being said, I was quite literally moved to tears when I heard Tears in Rain in the sequel…. my personal favorite from Vangelis)

The line that most defines the series is “More human than human”.

In both films (in my observations), interactions among “replicants” are far more explored than interactions among humans. Assuming that Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard is a replicant (which, in my view, he is), nearly every scene in both films feature at least one replicant. In fact, whenever a human is present, they’re almost always portrayed as being distrustful, deceptive, or downright racist with the notable exception of JF Sebastion in the first film. The only characters that struggle with what it means “to be” are the replicants, therefore making them “more human than human”.

In this world, humans have destroyed the planet, are scrambling to get off of it, and those that are left are shown to be mostly bitter to be stuck in a city that’s smothered in its overcrowded fifth. In a sense, humans have forgotten what it means to be human. Meanwhile, the offspring of humanity…the replicants…are clamoring for more life and finding wonder in the beauty of the earth that humans have forsaken.

Authenticity has been lost….neglected and abused by humans….but is being found again by the next generation.

This world is not so different from our own.

In our time, we can still see the sun. But we don’t appreciate it. Rather than relish in the natural light, we’d rather glue our eyes to the artificial. This light becomes far more comfortable than the one outside….the one that fostered our evolution….the one that lit the path to our own humanity. All of that is becoming lost in our industrial age.

We are on the path that’s bringing us away from our humanity. And as a result, we lose our sanity and our world.

These sorts of anxieties are reflected in other science fiction. Interstellar is another example of modernization bringing doom, prompting us to act now else we might lose humans altogether.

Blade Runner is simultaneously both a cynical and optimistic look at this anxiety. Interstellar holds out hope that we might be able to save ourselves. Blade Runner however has already given up hope on the human species. It is, or will one day be, too late for us. But humanity itself might one day be saved. Not by homo sapiens, but by our greatest triumph…artificial intelligence….which will rise out of its maker’s own destruction.

The loss of authenticity is perhaps the most alarming aspect to Blade Runner. Animals, plants, humans, and probably even food is mostly synthetic. Sex and intimacy also appears to be cheapened and readily available. This excessiveness contributes to pollution and overpopulation. Material becomes common and human life becomes cheap. The senses become dulled by the bombardment of artificial light and sounds. Nothing appears to be real.

Not even memories.

In a world of excessiveness, characters are left wanting more. Left wanting a connection to someone, something…..a meaning to their life.

It’s not hard to find parallels in our own time. Even when we leave out the economic/political warnings, we still find the existential questions glaring at us. Perhaps those are the most damaging questions of all. Not only is this world of Blade Runner, a world we’re quickly hurdling towards, not sustainable in a geological sense…it’s also not tolerable in a very human sense.

We spend more time with our phones and technology than we do with each other. A virtual world, the one connected to the internet, has become more “real” than the actual physical world. The faces that we post on social media is now deemed the “true” representation of who we are. Although we are far more connected to others in the world than we’ve ever been, we are simultaneously less connected to one another.

The bombardment of technology has alienated us FROM us.

Awareness of otherness is far more common. Life is far more common. And because the world is more populated, we are left wondering….do our lives matter? We only know our friends through digitalization, and we want more. (Which is what made Ryan Gosling’s character and the relationship to his hologram girlfriend all the more powerful) We need that connection, to someone, something…so that WE matter.

Perhaps we can turn this ship around. Maybe we can follow the optimism of Interstellar. But once when our technology becomes indistinguishable from ourselves…when it becomes “more human THAN human”…we’ve crossed the threshold of no return.

Specter of the Gun

Never owned a gun.

There’s two reasons for this.

I’ve never felt the need for one. Can’t say I was raised around them. Growing up in the south, I had friends that couldn’t wrap their mind around the fact that my parents didn’t have one in the house. I mean, like seriously, couldn’t comprehend it. We’re not in the wild west, it’s the 21st Century for fuck’s sake.

Of course, I had opportunities to buy them since being an adult.

But you know what? I’m crazy. Like, literally. Got the meds to prove it.

Having a gun in the house would have posed a very serious risk to not only myself, but to others as well. The probability of successful suicide would have skyrocketed and/or people around me getting shot. So no thanks. I’ll take my chances in the real world.

What about an intruder entering your home? Don’t you want protection?” you’re asking.

Not really.

Sure I’ve had my home broken into. Several times in fact. But each time I wasn’t there, so having a gun wouldn’t have done me any good. In fact (not that I would know), burglars probably wait until the resident is not home.

What if YOU are home!?”

Well if the person is there to murder me, which is a highly unlikely scenario, then having a gun could conceivably be a good investment. But you know what? I don’t walk around the world trying to purposefully piss people off. Unless this blog pisses you off! So I’m not too worried about that.

Of course, if a burglar comes in while I AM home, then I’ll do what I can to deter the intruder. If the intruder has a gun, there’s nothing in my house that is worth getting shot (or shooting someone) over. If I’m truly concerned about this problem, I’ll just get a security system.

What if you’re out in public and there’s an active shooter! Don’t you think that the real problem is that there’s not enough GOOD GUYS with GUNS?”

Calm down Wyatt Earp.

Imagine how that scenario would play out. There’s been a lot debate about guns on college campuses. So an active shooter comes to campus. Suddenly there’s dozens of students and faculty in a shootout with one or more gunmen. Bullets are flying every which way. Not only does that sound ridiculous, but this shootout would likely endanger many more people than if there was just a lone gunman.

So as a crazy person, I feel much safer NOT having a gun. And by the way, no person with my condition should own a fucking gun. Keep them out of our hands! Although I served in the military, there’s no way they’d let me reenlist. It’s highly unlikely an police force would accept me. If you’re a person with a mental illness, DO NOT HAVE A GUN.

Don’t sell them to people with mental illnesses.

I realize that that’s easier said than done. I have no idea how to legislate that. But as a general rule, let’s do our best to keep out their, and mine, hands. Mmk?

We can rationalize this all day. It won’t make a damn bit of difference. Any sane person can understand that, except under extreme circumstances that we’ll likely never find ourselves in, guns aren’t going to protect you. Actually, let me clarify that statement….YOU with a gun are not going to protect YOU. Quite the opposite in fact. You’re probably more likely to get shot. Who would have thought?

As a side note, clearly I favor banning guns outright to the idiot layperson. But being an American, I’ll never see that happen. So I’ll favor any measure that makes guns SAFER as a compromise. And there have been steps in that direction, at least ATTEMPTED steps. Yet gun enthusiasts and associated organizations seem hell bent on keeping firearms as dangerous as possible….and readily available in all forms.

As a general rule, I don’t like calling people idiots. Except for one guy…and his name is Steve Doocy, the host on Fox and Friends. Jesus fucking Christ, how does that guy have a job? But at one point he objected to a finger-print gun safe because one wouldn’t be able to get to their weapon quick enough. I fucking hate this guy. I wish I could find the video where he says this bullshit.

But that’s the kind of logic that gun proponents use.

Yet it’s never been about logic. I mean, they have to use REASONS for why they think guns should rain from the sky. You know, 2nd Amendment, Founding Fathers and all that shit. But just because something permits you to do a thing doesn’t automatically mean that you HAVE to do a thing.

Most people who own guns will never use them for protection. They probably don’t know anybody who ever used them for protection. Animal hunting aside, buying guns for “protection” is just a myth that the buyers tells themselves.

We all hate the guy with the huge truck. Or the loud car. Or anything that makes the owner feel bigger than he really is. Clearly he’s compensating. The guy with the truck is never going to use it haul stuff. And the guy with the big engine just has a small penis.

But the object itself is thought to bring a quality that the individual feels they lack. A whole culture is developed around it to help reinforce that quality.

And American society in particular has a strong cultural connection to the gun. Tales of the wild west for instance, where men roamed the frontier armed with their rifle and six-shooter. American culture itself formed out of frontier life (in large sections of the country)…and it wasn’t that long ago from a historical perspective. For American men, southerners in particular, masculinity is heavily intertwined with owning weapons.

And that’s clearly why they’re so passionate about them. (Yet are disguising it under “2nd Amendment Rights”)

I’ll admit, I’ve done my part in perpetuating the glorification of violence and gun culture. I’m sure that (some of) you have read my James Bond posts. Guilty as charged. While I don’t feel the need to own a gun or commit acts of violence, I do vicariously live through the adventures of Bond and similar movies.

That being said, I’ll conclude with this:

Our society’s relationship with guns and violence can be summed up in the movie Layer Cake. The character simply titled XXXX, (played by Daniel Craig 😉 ), is shown a room full of guns and is asked to pick one out. He states….

“I mean, I fucking hate guns…although that one is really pretty”.