Monday, October 31, 2016

Component Sets

I've lost my mind, have given up on doing anything else. 

I bought the bike this morning, must run now to find my initial ecstasy, before it too goes.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

#OccupyJesus - I'm with Herself

(Rhys, depicting a smiling Barkley)

I feel empowered by this election cycle. I think I'm going to find a Mexican and appropriate something from their culture, or maybe just beat them up and call them a "Jew." To the reasonable people that are left in the national conversation it really is starting to seem like it's the blacks, the Muslims, and the Jews that are causing all the trouble for America. Or, it could be the Aleppan refugees. This message is being hammered home, as they say. The problems are not necessarily in that order, but the idea of the threat of otherness is as old as the Great Testaments. 

I think "The Blacks" should be capitalized, because you know, Liberalism. It's a Real Problem, it should be capitalized. You know, to help raise awareness.

It's astonishing to me that there are people out there that seem dedicated to advancing the idea that there would be no racial problems, or far fewer, if the liberals would just stop race baiting the whites the way they have. This "political correctness" stuff has gone too far. Far too far! some have lately screamed. It's as if the only thing that will make liberals happy is equality. 
Once we roll back political correctness to pre-Obama levels then we can rationally discuss liberals being allowed to form their own nation again. A small undefended nation perhaps back where liberalism probably came from, like Europe. How the fuck did we ever let liberals join the military?
The Right should have never let the Left take Christmas. That was their Poland. They should have come out shotgun-shooting when the godless came after the nativity scenes in government buildings. To adequately understand the separation of church and state it's most important to Second That Amendment!!! Holla', ya'll. 

#OccupyJesus. Holy Fucking Batdance... I just realized that there is no way... that I could have thought of... #OccupyJesus... So, I did my extensive "research." You're very welcome. I wear a Large Mens. 

Have I explained that Jesus was a sectarian? The occupation of the temple is a subject that we went over in part yesterday. Even the esteemed authors of the gospels using the nom de plumes of the apostles couldn't stop themselves from embedding the important sectarian fact well into the Christian myth. It mattered far too much, even then, and hasn't let up much in two thousand years, or even five thousand, hopefully a few thousand more. 

I was about to ask out loud how Jesus invaded our peaceful Sunday morning here, but then I realized: I was writing about politics in America. Has a Republican told you lately how much their party has done for The Blacks? You know, Lincoln. Just ignore everything since around 1964 and you will see the true truth of republicanism my dark-skinned friends. After that, you should know how to vote. Stop acting as if it's the Democrats that like you when really it's the Christians that hate you. You see, even Newt Gingrich has started to change his messaging. The way to care about Blacks is to pander to them as a voting block. Tell them they're stupid for voting Democrat. They love that. 

The tattle-tale atmosphere from one side meeting the brazen bigotry on the other, both competing to more adequately assign the label of neo-fascist to the other, both failing in almost the exact same way. In this atmosphere of mutual uselessness I almost invite the "big government" takeover that everybody is so in a fright about. None of these people ever seem to look at small government and ask the simple question: Are we sure that we want this? Local governments are free from all tyranny, you see. Just look around and pretend that your nation could be run the same way that your school district is. Village politics have served us so well in that imaginary America that never existed. 

I've tried to listen through the media coverage to determine why there are still so many that would support Trump and one need look no further than Hillary Herself, though that does not explain it in any complete sense. There is more. A few aspects of that support for Trump do become clear, but at such a tremendous cost in willful ignorance that it is and has been a lost cause all along. The Clinton side is only marginally better, but that's all that it takes. 

Though to be very clear: it is better. I hate to admit this. It pains me, but it is not reasonable to assume as many have tried that Clinton and Trump would both cause equal damage. They wouldn't. Trump's would be far more fun to watch, at first. The hideousness that Clinton will unleash will be a set of concealed acts as any president can possibly pretend to function under the weight of. We'll have no way of knowing who was the most secretive of the presidents of the last 40 years. All of the presidents since Nixon have learned the painful lessons of how best to govern. Clinton must have a coven of Kissingers hidden away somewhere. 

One gets the feeling that this may be the last time America dodges its own bullet. It may be among the last they openly laugh about, once it all seems over. This rise in race-specific nationalism and religion-based bigotry began its most recent push right about the time the Palin nightmare hit the big screen, which coincided neatly with Obama's first victory. Coincidence? The 2010 elections should have warned everyone what was coming, but that was not the effect that it had at all. Republicans have wished for a return to a time of more well established troubles, a pre-lapsarian balance of white over black. The Democrats are more eager to replace those old troubles with some branded new ones. 


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Were those the days?

I started trying to write a post about forty minutes ago. Instead of sitting at the kitchen table I thought that I would sit at my desk and use my iMac. I've been trying to stay away from work when I'm not working, etc. So, now, forty-five minutes later I finally have my iMac working in a way that I might use it. I used to be an Apple technician and I rarely use this machine any more except to occasionally update its software, which I'm convinced is the problem. In fact, I am certain that it is. Activity Monitor shows how much this processor struggles with the increasing demand of System tasks.

Apple has done a great job at turning its computers into iPhones. At least with the iPhone they have instituted their aggressive obsolescence into the pricing structure. 

It doesn't help that I also use Chrome with about twenty tabs open at any given time, many of them streaming competitive porn clips. Ah well, perhaps I have contracted another virus. Those girls are filthy. It would serve me right... like a boy that smokes one of his father's cigarettes and then gets cancer. The Christian sense of retribution runs deep. Nothing quite sings as does divine punishment.

My brother sent me a birthday card - one that his kids mildly objected to - that showed Jesus famously offering the multitudes bread and fish. The crowd is responding back with questions about the gluten in the bread and whether the mercury in the fish had been tested. There might have even been a vegan in the group. The inside says, "Avoid complainers."

So far, I've done pretty well. I out-do them, tire them out. They seem to find other people in which to talk towards. It's usually because I grow bored and will start criticizing their criticisms. 

Jesus was among the most famous complainers of the last two thousand years, which I found to add an extra layer of humor to the thing. Did you hear about what he did to the money-changers in the temple? The Romans let him go to his death for that heresy. My brother bought me a book about Jesus last Christmas, I think. It's even one that I had heard of: The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox.

What he really meant was to avoid vegans, I think.

It has sat with a stack of other books that I've been meaning to read the first fifty pages of. Not that I wouldn't read more, but I'll usually give a book fifty pages worth of reading before I give up. If it's kept my interest for that long then I'll read another fifty, and so on until I have either read or tried to read every book I own, or have given away the ones that I have confidence that I will not return. There are a bunch that I've been meaning to go back to but haven't had the time - Infinite Jest, The Idiot, In Search of Lost Time, Death on the Installment Plan. There must be others. I've never read Anna Karenina. 

I have an unnecessarily complicated relationship with my past, for reasons I've never understood. It has bubbled up in some unexpected ways most of my life, but more so recently. I've been considering it vaguely now for weeks. I wanted to escape my life and youth, starting from around the age of fourteen. I never quite grew out of that phase. I romanticized departure yet never became very good at it. When not being careful, I can become mildly resentful of those of my past who continue to linger around. Not everyone of course, many I'm fond of, but the ones that seem to embrace and embody only the ideals or memories of a certain time. 

There were people from my youth, all they seem willing to talk about is the 70s and 80s, or what we did then. Then there were people I knew through the world of nightclubbing. They do not seem able to discuss anything else. They remember every detail of every stupid incident that I've ever caused, even the ones that aren't true. 

That's it. Those are the only two eras of my life. I guess there's the last ten years working for tech companies that could constitute a third. Jesus, how did my life end up half over and I've only done two things with it. I'm not complaining here, Jesus, I promise. I'm not complaining, Jesus, it's just a question.

Many consider it pure luck that I'm even able to do the tech thing, though many more must have felt that way about dj'ing. I was perhaps happiest when people seemed envious of my life, yet didn't recognize it at the time. Or, didn't recognize it enough. I have no idea what doing so might have accomplished. It seems implausible that I could have been more smug. One can always be more arrogant. We know that now. Fewer complaints maybe. Nobody, I do not think, looks back wistfully on their many years of griping.

Who knows, maybe I'll sit around the fire one dark winter night and tell proud stories about how much better it used to be to grumble, and what a great time it was for the grumblers.


Friday, October 28, 2016

I don't know, maybe it was the tulips.....

I need to find a way of tricking myself into a new type of happiness. I've started with little things, like not opening my work computer until I am actually working. Not that working makes me unhappy, only that if I keep the work computer open all day, even when I'm not working then there begins to be too much overlap. It becomes difficult to separate my work time from my free time. It all starts to run together. One set of feelings tends to flatten another. 

I sit here now, listening to the rain falling outside. I will drive to the gym in the dark and try to be happy on the elliptical machine instead of cycling. It can be done, but it requires carefully choosing an album. There is that, I suppose, that one advantage of being able to listen to music while working out.

I took some time off from work, but still, I am beside myself with anxiety for reasons I don't quite understand. It is perhaps just the changing of seasons, or perhaps my birthday depressed me a bit more than I guessed that it might, or it was a perfect storm between the changing weather and the passing of another year. As soon as I start to count on living in the moment the seasons change, the moments become less inviting, the poignancy of life is softened by the waning light of the month. 

I picked up my Fuji X100S a few days ago and was amazed at what a worthless piece of shit it has become. I've grown used to the "more pro" version, the X-Pro2. It seemed to struggle with finding focus and the image quality has ceased to impress me. It was almost like shooting with an iPhone - pointless. 

It wasn't fun any more. I might have even tried to make a phone call with the cursed thing, not knowing what else to do with it. 

Too bad old Jobs isn't still around to tell us all that we're holding it wrong. I wonder if anyone whispered that to him on his deathbed: Hey Steve, buddy, this whole life thing, you're just holding it wrong....


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sayonara, Forty-Seven

The big 48. Last year I remember relaying my distaste for the age of 47. It is an ugly number, certainly, but it follows that 48 is ugly plus one. 

I feel better this year than I did last, less sedentary. There is that, I suppose. I rode my bike underneath dark cloud cover to Kenwood and back yesterday, then to the gym. I would do the same today, but the clouds have surrendered their weight. I awoke to the sound of rain several hours before I abandoned the bed. 

I explained to the boy last night that soon he would start to need to sleep exclusively in his own bed. He didn't seem to care for this idea very much. He and I are great buddies and he does not yet understand the need for independence, either his or mine. I'm supposed to help him develop the stuff, but my version of independence is not always the good kind. Mine is sometimes the version that just mumbles, Get the fuck away from me. 

I should perhaps develop the more well-mannered version. The one that says, Please, please... leave me alone. Not to the boy, of course. I mean that I feel this way about most of the others.

I sat at the local pub yesterday and had a few beers. I can be a social guy and the pub offers the closest approximation to socializing there is around here, at least during the daytime when one can enjoy casual discussion, or none. I had taken a few days off from work and did not adequately itinerate to make better use of my time, which left me doing much of nothing for 4 days. I suppose this was fine, though idle hands are the devil's sex doll. 

Speaking of carbon-fiber sex dolls, I wish that it was not raining on the likely day that I'll get my new bike. The front tire and brakes of my Kona sat out in the rain last night. I covered it, but not well enough. Soon I will be forced to decide which bike gets to stay in for the night. I'll make them jealous of one another, as if they are both hopefuls sent in from farming country, seeking the comforting stability of an arranged marriage, pandering to my casual whims and needs, desiring the security of my loving largesse. 

I, now their Patron, their New Father. Daddy-Q.

I wonder at what age it becomes too late to be a cult leader. I want a campful of people wandering around, doe-eyed and smiling unnaturally, all calling me "Fatherland..." or some other creepy and almost non-sensical name. Is there a cutoff for that sort of thing. I hope it's 48. 

It seems that every one of my interests (photography and cycling) in midlife have a cultish air about them. Cycling more than photography, but they both are made up exclusively of dedicated initiates after a point. I do fear becoming involved in group riding on the weekends. Everywhere you go around here you see these demented packs of riders that have tried to color coordinate their lycra and ride in a semblance of order. I've been told that it's a real carnival of egos, those little clusters of riders vying for position, led by some little weekend-friendly fascist. 

I suppose that I should wait until I have my own experience before I am relaying the opinions of others. Gaining experience of a thing sometimes too heavily taints the opinions that I prefer to hold concerning it. As a little joke, I used to review books before I would read them. I'd jot down a paragraph on what I believed that I could expect from it in advance of any reading. I have a notebook around here with little book reviews written without knowledge of the works in question. I should pull out some of those old notebooks, the ones that document through scribbled piecemeal the scattered NY years. 

Today, I should do that today....

Part of the reason that I took time off from work is that I needed to take a step back, to try to grasp some perspective on where I am and where I want to be. I feel far too frazzled in my daily life and my attention is spread too thin. I am trying to regain a sense of focus. It is not easy. Once you have allowed your attention to be distributed among competing communication channels it is very difficult to shut some of them off for the purpose of focus. Somewhere along the way I sought mainly a quantitative life, measuring success in numbers achieved. My sense of the qualitative was understandably diminished. I have committed to allowing myself more chance at focus. 

One way that I'm going to accomplish this is by not fixing the broken screen on my iPhone. I have this little developing detestation for devices. I let things fall apart to try and convince myself that I do not need them. I am hoping that it might save me, this latest escape from escapism. 


Monday, October 24, 2016

"A boy's best friend is his mother"

Well, it looks as if I'll be buying that Trek Domane 4.5. I shouldn't, but I have allowed my obsessions to ride off with my senses again. Now there will be no stopping me. Once I want something I move towards it as the sun does the horizon - inexorably, and until it is dark. 

I went for a test ride on Saturday and became quickly convinced that this bike will complete me. The result will be my happiness when I am on it and riding. It is a triumph of industrial beauty. The bike I rode was the disc brake version which is not what I want, but the caliper brake model will instead be completed sometime later this week. There was a problem with the bottom bracket, the bearings were not seated properly, so a part had to be ordered. 

I told myself that this was a sign for me to take a step back and really think about whether or not this is what I want, but it is, it is, it is, and the step back only allowed me to better focus my obsessions on their most recent object of fondness. 

Riding a road bike is odd at first, at least when compared to the mountain bike experience. It seems as if you give up a few very important things only to achieve more speed, but the near effortlessness with which you can gain that extra speed is really something, once acclimated to, and once expected out of the machine between your legs. It becomes the sole temptation, the feeling of diminished resistance in the form of tempo and momentum. 

I took the bike up the Sonoma Valley, even a few miles up Cavedale Road, a treacherous mountain trap that offers to kill you at every bumpy hairpin. The shoulders of the road give way to rock-lined irrigation ditches, or to certain death on the other side. I kept asking myself what I would do if the nearly untested disc brakes went out. The only viable answer was the ditch, which upon closer inspection turned out to be no answer at all, or perhaps the final one. There were unforgiving rocks the size of my abdomen and skull all lined up and almost covered by the soft brown grass that can be seen everywhere here. The outline of their jagged shape could be witnessed like the knife through the shower curtain. 

Sorry, a buddy and I were discussing Hitchcock over a beer last night and I woke up inside of a dream this morning where I was making a poached egg in the Psycho shower scene bathroom. I dropped the newly poached egg into a shirt for some reason and then could not get it out. I was frantic about not getting the yolk all over the place for some reason. Maybe because I knew they were filming. The egg kept growing until there was nearly a basketball sized half-cooked egg cradled inside of a red and black plaid lumberjack's shirt. Some hideous shifting monster of semi-solid womb, an amorphous un-egged terror growing in my hands, destined to burst.  

Some people give a lot of credence to their dreams. That one was just nonsense, I think. It's so hard to say, so easy to read into.

Well, I have the day off from work, so before I waste it by sitting here typing out editorialized commentary on my own dreams, I'll put on my riding clothes and huff my way up the valley until the poison blood has been sufficiently let free once more. 


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Like, very married?


My friends crack me up. One wrote me yesterday, concerned that I might have been serious about paying a woman for sex. He explained that it is immoral and I readily agreed that to sell such a thing would wrong, though I do not believe that at all. Individual circumstances might be sad and unfortunate, but I have no moral qualms with the actual transference of money for sex. I guess I should, based on what so many others have to say about it, but I don't.

Almost the entire scatological piece yesterday was written as a joke. I was channeling all of the crudity of recent political talk. One can only suffer so much before the word asshole is the only one that makes sense any more. Naturally, once you've employed that individual word then the phrase How much for your asshole? falls neatly  into place. 

The universe has a beautiful order to it. 

I unexpectedly went to a wedding last night. It was a minor disaster. To drink well once must practice. It should be part of a healthy daily regimen. To try to do it as I have - taking breaks - causes much unnecessary suffering. 

I took about 1200 pictures last night, to give you an idea. I was mocking the paid photographer's gear almost quietly, letting people marvel at how beautiful my camera and lens combination is, being a general nuisance. Drinking all of their wine and verifying if all the women I met were either married or very married. 

That's what I'll be doing in the film. 

Now, I go to test ride a bike. I'll do the toughest ride that I know of here in the valley. We'll see how well it lifts all of my money out of my bank and then up into the sun where it belongs.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Partisans Against Parts

Well, I took a few days off from work. I was a wreck. I could feel something inside of me rising, a sound in the distance drawing near, and it wasn't the election. It felt as if it had fewer and fewer places to go, nowhere to escape, boiling water in a covered pot. It wasn't anything at work, though the job can be difficult, but rather all of the externals combined with lots of working. I won't list them here, but rather only mention that being a single parent is not often an easy task. The main advantage that I can see to it are the windows of open independence. 

Most parents must never feel as if they have very much freedom. It is the nature of marriage and family. I get about half the joy of having a family and suffer none of the daily nonsense, or very little. There is a new and unexpected balance to my life. I have learned how to appreciate my time more, and also that it is not all mine, the time that I spend with my son is richer because I am more rested for it, under the best of conditions. 

Time, it is all about time. One must have some of it to adequately feel and appreciate its passing. 

Perhaps this is only me telling myself that my current situation is the preferable one. I just don't know. It is difficult to gain perspective once the gaze turns inward. At other times in my life I've been errant in believing that no matter what my situation should be better, that I deserved better, even though I had it made at the time. It even made me bitter at times. I look back at those years now and am shocked at what a spoiled little drug-addled brat I was, but I would go back and live another ten years like that, my head filled with delusions of being a little rock star. Those years when women were interested in me for the wrongest of reasons. 

Speaking of...

I'm about to offer a woman money for sex, I think. I know exactly how much I'm going to offer, though I understand that these things require some finesses in negotiation. How much for your ass? is my favorite question in all social circumstances. It cuts through the nonsense and lets the listeners know that you mean business. 

No means no, maybe means maybe, and yes means anal. That's is a deductive logical progressionI suppose that opening sentence should end in a question mark? Many might insist that without the question mark then it is flatly wrong to assume such things. Only 40% of recently polled college students could accurately define the word consent, but they probably forgot to poll the young women, or even ask if they could. So, college campuses are apparently the place to be. 

I don't yet know who it is that I'll offer money for sex. Perhaps a friend that may need it. I have not given much advance thought into what their reaction to such a suggestion might be, though once they understand the nature of my generosity and how they can become complicit in this most biblical of submissive acts, then I'll gracefully let fly the only question that has ever really mattered in this scenario: And so, how much for your asshole? 

It is best to ask the question even if you have no real intention of renting some time inside of another person's rectum. It lets them know that the customer is always the customer and is usually wrong about everything. 

Assholes are a real buyer's market right now. It's important to find the one that's right for you. Be warned though: the broker is also the bank, the agent, the landowner, the underwriter, and the seller.

Even with a limited understanding of how these things work anyone that hears that question knows right away, almost instinctually, that the speaker of the question is well versed in the more nuanced aspects of male-on-female prostitution. Anal love costs. It is neither cheap to maintain nor repair, though bleaching has become very reasonable these last few seasons. Upkeep is paramount. 

Every prostitute knows what their lowest figure is, then how much lower they'll even go than that on a slow night or if the buyer has a small enough penis for it not to be too much of a bother. That is what you, the consumer, must find out. That invisible numeric line drawn in dollars that is keeping you away from somebody else's lower intestines. 

The question is how to let them know that you respect the age old dynamic of attraction that naturally occurs between a woman and a man's money. They are inexorably drawn to one another, pulled together through the vast darkness of space by the invisible force of gravity that surrounds and pulls them together. A wealthy man can have more satellites orbiting him than Jupiter has moons. It is how truly good men gauge their self worth. I'm not sure how women assess such a thing, though I hope it's not likewise through money or orbiting moons. That would be awful. That might mean that women are not any more spiritually enlightened than men. 

There is a troubling spirit-gap in our culture. Men are losing 78 cents for every dollar taken from them. 

It could be argued that the unwitting male in this scenario only acts as an arbitrary impediment to the natural flow of resources from the universe into a prostitute's hands. You see, the female in this situation is able to utilize and exploit the man's finer genetic impulses, siphoning off resources in bulk from the host in a way that the male has very few natural defenses for. It is to the overall species' advantage that men are born with advanced sensibilities around the inguinal nerve clusters. It is almost as if the male of the species has a leak in their savings nest in the shape of an erect lower waist proboscis. This tender release valve is where the man's hours of labor are peacefully transferred over to the female of the species in an attempt to achieve gender-fiscal equilibrium. 

The act of sex has long ago ceased to have meaning for either. The male's presence during this transfer is merely incidental, though he has no way of knowing this until many years later when the money has established its one-way flow, no longer requiring the unpleasant complications of coitus. Blinded by the fury of his once vigorous set of hormones, the male may submerge himself in the pernicious rote dissatisfaction of labor and toil, or perhaps with weekend hobby projects conducted in places like the garage, where they can be kept safely out of site of the local domestic queen. 
For the male worker, now falsely believing that an increase in resources will bring about a return of the pleasurable state of anal intercourse, the lone act that caused him to commit to a life of servitude and subservience, he is destined to live out his days with the vague but clenched memory of anal abandon. 
The female is capable of growing a fresh, new, untouched anus from which she can then also attract other suitors. By keeping this behind-button hidden beneath an elaborate veil of mystery the previous male will continue to work away, dreaming perhaps of a one-day return to the fountain of paradisal love. 

Well no, I am only half kidding here. A woman can not just grow a fresh asshole. It only seems that way sometimes in retrospect.

Women are not entirely to blame for what they do, men are. This post is just a little unhindered use of the male mind. To attempt to silence or criticize the blossoming beauty of maleness here is just ugly and abject sexism. Everybody knows and respects this basic principle of equality. It's the type talk that might be employed in the women's locker room.

Don't act as if I was asking to be criticized because of what I chose to write here. That's blaming the victim. I can wear any voice that I choose. I have nothing to be ashamed of. It's the uninvited and aggressive female criticism of maleness that must stop. Nope means probably not.

I should delete all of this, but a giggling and pubescent perversity of inner spirit prevents me from doing so. It is my espirit-animal: a masturbatory boy of about 13 with the fledgling mind of a one-day hopeful arsonist.

Let's escape the morass of anal sex for now, even when it is accomplished through the beautiful mechanism of capitalism, the free finger of the market. Let's move on to the personal section of today's post.

I had my dreams crushed yesterday. Experience forced me to shuffle my ideals around a bit; enforced external conformity. I went for a test ride on the bike that I have been obsessing over - the Trek Domane 4.5 Disc. I took my usual daily ride, up to the Lovall Valley Loop.

Once seated and pedaling all of the memories of riding a road bike came back to me. The rider is much more precariously balanced than they are on an off-road bike, like mounting a little metallic horse. The bike moves in almost unexpected ways. The handle bars are awkward by comparison, like steering with two corkscrews. The twitch response of my muscle groups were not conditioned at all to that type riding. I was forced to focus much more on what I was doing. I suppose this is the point - you sacrifice ease of riding for speed. Speed being perhaps the only, or at least the main, advantage.

I envisioned myself becoming one of those piteous deplorables that will ride along in groups on the weekend, jockeying for a spot towards the front of their imaginary "wolfpack," all dressed in the same brightly colored lycra as if they are actually out training for Team Twat.

Hell is other people. -Sartre

Halfway into the ride I told myself that I was being foolish, that I did not need to purchase this tremendous carbon triumph of industry. I reminded myself how much I enjoy riding my current bike, and how the purchase of a new bike risks hurting the feelings of the only object that I truly love.

On roads that were less than preferable it felt like I was riding a torture device. Once the roads smoothed out and I could get into the higher gears then things really changed for the better. I had nearly forgotten how great it feels to demand more of my legs and lungs, that the demanding itself and its results provide the needed energy to force the frame into flight. There were sections of road in which I felt freer than I have felt in months. It might still be worth purchasing the bike for that aspect alone. There is something tremendous about the feeling of being strong, of feeling your own strength become kinetic, defeating for the moment the dormancy that lingers.

Then, of course there was the downhill portion of the ride, where the struggle of the uphill portion turns and bows before you. I was able to focus on enjoying doing nothing at all but effortlessly gaining speed in accordance with my riding abilities, the road's gradient and curves, the downward tug of gravity, and the dynamic mitigation of my own fears.

Yesterday, that I didn't care for the ride very much has made me question myself more than the bike. I rode a 54" frame and tomorrow I'll ride the 56" to see how I feel about it. I'll likely buy the rim brake version of the bike, if I buy at all. It'll sit in my apartment most of the winter but will be waiting there for me in the spring, the way love used to.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Express Lane - Being American

I have lost my healthy fear of credit cards. I'm not sure when it happened, but it has, and now my newfound fiscal courage is complete. There is a pretty good chance that I'll buy a two-thousand dollar bike today, the one that I posted about yesterday. All of it will be on credit. 

I lived for almost 30 years without using credit at all. I won't bother going into details, but, there was a "marriage misunderstandment" in which I ended up with an American Express card, one that I slowly started becoming more and more comfortable using. I kept it in my wallet. From that moment forward have unfolded most of my other joys in life. I am spending more than I'm making. In and of itself this is not that much of a problem, if it can be recognized and corrected for before the damage is total, and at least as long as I have enough money in savings to cover whatever purchases I make. 

I know that's not how personal finances are supposed to work, but that is what I am doing. I am engaging in some personal economic theory. My stroke of genius seems to be related to the fact that I have shifted to cards that do not require full payment at the end of each month.

I half kid. I do recognize that there is something irrational about my habits. I want to reward myself for some unnamed thing that I have lately achieved. Or, I am using the purchase of objects to stave off intense feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction. 

Who know, who cares. That is what I say.

The point is that I have approximated happiness. My life used to be very rich with experience, now I am accumulating the things that I want.

I tried to break up this pattern by booking a flight to Denver, but it does not seem that it was meant to be. I understand that "things" do not generally make a person happy, but that experiences can. That's part of why I try to buy things that will improve my experience - camera(s) and bike(s). This system works, as long as I am still having actual experiences, preferably ones that involve some traveling. If I find myself sitting around naked with my cameras then it's not always as satisfying as you, dear readers, might envision. 

To give you an idea of how eager I am to waste money: I just booked a flight to Denver and then cancelled it fifteen minutes later. $99.

I haven't seen a woman naked in what feels like a cruel amount of time. It's unnatural. Entire seasons of love have passed right by without me, without a caress, without much of a kiss. I haven't seen an actual woman naked in since around the time that Prince died. 

I have seen them on the internet where they all like me, and encourage staring. Don't some women just do the silliest things when I click on their little thumbnail. It can have the most pronounced effect on the viewer. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What Next?

I'll never go on a vacation again. I'm reasonably certain I have developed a spending problem. I find myself flopping all over the internet, always shopping along between expensive purchases that make me mildly happy for about three months. Ninety days, no more. I want nice things, and I have figured out where they are, and how long they last.

I looked into going to Denver last night and again this morning. I don't think that I'll be able to do it. There is a work thing that I might not be able to get out of. I have taken on responsibilities that require me to do things. What was I thinking?

I just want to buy things. I've never been so happy as I am when clicking the button.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Loma Prieta


I recall watching the reports on the news and wanting to live somewhere exciting - even then, under those circumstances. The streets had buckled northwards into San Francisco. People were frantic. I remember seeing some on television climbing out from underneath the collapsed sections of double level roads, then being envious of the stories they would one day have to tell. 

6.9 on the richter scale. 1989.

I had no idea at that time that I would live in New York one day. I had never been to New York, could only dream at what it might be like. It turned out to be almost exactly as it is portrayed. More than any other place that I've been, the New York experience is very well documented, almost to a fault. I imagine there are others that must feel that way about Paris and London, or even some poor fools that must also feel that way about Bucharest. 

CS will return and have stories to tell, even if he doesn't bother telling them. It is what people do with NY. Some cultures separate people by class and wealth divisions, like they do in Texas. America is separated by those who know how to get around New York and those who are lost and wander the other states in search of a good bagel and slice of pizza, eventually settling down and telling themselves and their children that it doesn't really matter, but somehow voting does. 

They hammer this point home to their kids who will then vote against everything their parents stood for. It will be treated as a matter of family treason.  

I am cat-watching for a friend. They have an old cat that adores me. It provides for me the feeling that animals love me, without the responsibility of having to prove any of them wrong. In truth, I do love the old cat. He has been forgotten by the time that brought him into being. Once, long ago, he was a great prowler of neighborhoods, as proud as he was beautiful and able. Now, he summons much of his strength only to nudge my elbow into petting compliance. 

My favorite pussy. He's orange with a soft triangular white stripe going down his chest. He looks like one of those orange cream pops, but covered in fur. He is best at reminding me that he is still there. When he detects that my arm is moving towards him for the purpose of petting he contorts his feline body into shapes that make the task sometimes difficult to accomplish. You'd think that I was the only one that talked to him, the way he purrs and meows and vibrates at my presence. He and I are good buddies, and the offer has been made for him to become mine, but he is old and I do not wish to be any animal's Charon.

Well, I wrote that this morning while cat-sitting. I'll return this afternoon when I commute back from the city. This same old kitty will be waiting for the gentle rub of my hand and for my soft, comforting words.  He will rub his head and cheek on my shirt, extending it to intercept my hand as often and as well as he can, leaning ever further over from the kitchen barstool where he sits happily and purrs next to me. 

This morning, he covered my blue shirt in orange cat hair. A thing that I had not yet noticed until this moment.



Monday, October 17, 2016

The Full Hunter's Waistline

I need a vacation. I'll likely take one this week, for at least a day. I have not been able to catch up with myself very well, or for very long. I need a friend that can obtain consistently quality steroids, human growth hormone. My body lingers too long in the grip of recovery. I have the UGT2B17 gene, so I'm sorted at work and if I choose to compete. I can pass any multiple choice drug test.

A one day vacation is not, that's just a day off. I still need one. There was a ramping up at work with some additional responsibility that I took on, then I received a promotion to a position with greater complexity. Now, I am exhausted heading into the holidays. It has been a long time since I have taken an actual vacation, about a year, I think. I've had extended weekends here and there, that's it. CS tells me that I am full of shit, and he may be right, but he is other things, also. That aging redneck is on vacation right now in NYC, yucking it up, growing hair in his ear holes, spending my hard won inheritance.

He missed the full Hunter's moon. They don't have those in New York any more. De Blasio banned them.

I'm in the mood to drink a bottle of nice red wine, but I was having beers and wines all weekend. I don't want to have to move up another size in Spanx. By the end of the weekend a pair of jeans that I just had hemmed and had been wearing comfortably were starting to seem tight, and not as if I had just gotten them out of the dryer and that things would be better in an hour, but rather that I was made of yeast and had just emerged from the oven.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Honky Halloween

As you can guess, I don't usually spend much time decorating my house for the holidays. It does start to feel wrongish when you're doing nothing in the spirit of things and there's a four year old afoot. I have tried to explain the existential horrors to him. He wants skeletons and pirates and ghosts hanging from the doorways and windows. Pumpkins and pies and lots of chocolates. So, that's what we did. We bought a pumpkin and a pirate skeleton and a ghost skeleton. We cut the pumpkin to become the face of a ghoul of some sort. I fashioned teeth out of the pumpkin piece that we cut from his mouth and used broken toothpicks to keep them in place. 

Not knowing what else to do I set all the stuff up outside, put a candle in the pumpkin, hung the skeletons and put some "Zombie Zone" orange tape around the front door as if something mysterious and terrible had happened, something that involved The Zombies. I would describe the current state of the apartment as absolutely fucking terrifying. Not a very welcoming place at all for the deeply superstitious. I left a Ouija board out to keep the Christians away. I only want things that will eventually scare white people, like democracy. 

After we had completed the decorations we sat around out front and let the world of el barrio come to marvel at our native ingenuity. Midway through the day I noticed a few people walking down the stairs from above with handfuls of stuff. I stopped and smiled and nodded and tried to make eye contact and said, Hi! 

Now, not to be an abject racist here... but... they move stuff in and out of the apartment on a reasonably regular basis, and there are lots of them. It's a Mexican-American family, so there's like 25 people that live there. Something seemed different today, though. There was a mood hanging over all of their activities. It eventually dawned on me - they were being evicted. I had heard threats of it for months. I'm standing there smiling at them like a retarded greeter at K-Mart, trying to interest them in my holiday decorations. A stinkin' fucking gringo, if ever there was.

Ah well, you can't win them all, and clearly they were not winning any yesterday, but the boy and I were. They were raining all over our Autumn-fest set design. I was prepared to shoot the opening scene from our unscripted horror film, or something. I totally had a boner for Halloween yesterday. 

We went inside and I started dinner - a grilled ribeye steak, corn on the cob with garlic salt and butter, asparagus with seasoned olive oil, a few glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon to try and extinguish the unpleasantness dripping down from above. Later, as we were trying to go to sleep, I could hear the industry of last minute moving all around us. It of course saddened me. There are children living there, and they are friends with all of the other children living here. Also, a more selfish thought: now there will be an apartment renovation above me. They will destroy my peace and quiet so they can jack the rent up to the great heights where they believe it belongs. The family that was there, who knows.  

I envy neither apartment managers nor tenants in these and all other situations. I only tend to side with the less fortunate, even if they have brought that misfortune on themselves. Why not? That's what I've done, also. A misfortune magnet, am I. 

This morning we will have bacon, eggs, potatoes, toast and butter on everything. I want to make sure that my son knows how to live, before they put it on trucks and take it all away. 


Saturday, October 15, 2016

To be consumed...

Well, it's here. My Nikon FM2n and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI-S. 

Now, I can be happy. Who could possibly want more. I mean, beyond happiness.

I was part of a group text last night that was heart-wrenching. Everywhere there is pain and confusion, hope giving up to disappointment, anger. People perhaps acting selfishly when they were supposed to act otherwise, when they had promised. There are facts, of course, but who needs details, a mere naked reporting. The contour of romantic hope and betrayal is similar enough from one disaster to the next. The universal trajectory. It is sex, always, that complicates best what would otherwise be a set of unlistenable stories. 

I'm relieved that nobody has inflicted me lately with the dreaded stuff, sex. It brings the shadow of evil with it wherever it goes, or makes its own once it arrives. It is a dark business, physical abandon, the exhausting of one's self within another, or the receiving of same. I remember parts of it, like a child's Christmas morning seen through the soft lens of memory, pulling on ribbons and sliding down bows, stripping away wrapping, holding the gift in your hands, lifting it up into the morning and then back down again. Over and over, Christmas after Christmas, felt now from a great but friendly distance. 

I spoke briefly with one of the great loves of my life the other day. A mutual friend had passed away, which was reason enough. We discussed the changing landscape of years, the things we might have done differently, the unwinding comedy of life. 

We had broken each others' hearts long ago. Hers first and slowly, then mine, more suddenly. It all seems silly now, in a way that it could not have possibly seemed then. Heartache appears so harmless when viewed from such lost intervals. It almost tickles, to remember.

When love is pain it can devour you.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

The problem with non-optional abstinence

Since I can't seem to find a way to throw out all of my money with digital cameras I've started shooting film again. Doesn't matter, I'm shooting color film when there is no reason at all to do so. Digital cameras handle colors better than film, for the most part. Everybody knows it, but that won't stop me. I'll shoot a few rolls of color today, and then a few rolls of Ilford HP5 black-and-white. It would take far less energy for me to just drop $40 cash in the garbage.

I'm getting my Nikon FM2n today, so I guess I wanted to shoot through as much film on my F100 before the new camera gets here so that I'll have to buy more. As long as I am spending money I don't tend to notice that I also don't have a girlfriend, or not as much. If I was having sex again I wouldn't look at my cameras for months. 

When I do get a girlfriend, that's how I'll know that it's time to move on: I'll start taking pictures of her. 

Fuck, even that thought feels like a dose of pre-emptive fatalistic creepiness. 

I've emailed two ex-girlfriends in the last few days. I hadn't talked to either in a while. Both of them were the loves of my life - one for about ten years, the other for about ten weeks. One was having a birthday. The other, well, I had news of a mutual friend's passing. 

Ex-girlfriends are the animated trophies of failed love. I have a whole room dedicated to them in heaven. A corner office filled with stardusty shelves, engraved plaques, medals, ribbons all draped over the plasticine icons of various sport, the figures of athletes in action. Bowlers, archers, runners in motion, and me. The tangible, durable reminders of what once was. 

No, no... I have only a handful of pictures of a few ex-girlfriends dancing in their underwear, or less. Nothing more. These are far more interesting to look at than a dusty roomful of trophies in the imagined afterlife. 

I wonder what it's like to have an ex-girlfriend that acts more like an ex-boyfriend. Every time I see one of my ex-g's it looks as if they just had their hair and nails done, they've been sleeping with their award winning personal trainer for about 9-12 months when we only broke up in the early days of summer. They all have new cars and sunglasses to match. Every single one of them. 

Just once, I'd like to go to a restaurant and see a total ex-loser - collared shirt untucked and wrinkled at the bottom, couple stains still dripping along the front, the shirt's next stains still at the bottom of the pint glass in their hand, the most recent shot of whiskey sharply cutting through the beer on their breath, disheveled hair in need of a cut and brushing, unshaven legs postured in the unkempt way, she keeps heading off to the bathroom and then coming back to offer me coke, which I politely decline with the hint of a smirk. 

I need somebody to hit rock bottom for me, a couple times. An act of compensatory love. To really shame themselves - to text me when I don't want to be texted, leaving voice mails on my phone during the Blair Witch hours, all of that. Why don't I get to break anybody's heart any more? 

Well, in a perfect world, I would... But, I'm not going to sit around waiting to break up with somebody just so that I can enjoy their short and fast slide into near total disrepair and occasional madness. I'm going to go out and find one. 

Why do women always pull themselves together so well after a breakup, or in the few months leading up to it when we were trying to work through our problems. While men always seem to take a couple of years to turn the ship around and back head towards international waters where laws just don't matter any more. 

It's abject sexism, pure and simple, and the worst kind: congenital. What else could possibly explain this complex and elusive gender-specific phenomenon.

Sex is ist


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Unfit for the Oval Orifice


Nice ring to the subject. This need not be a political post. We've all been through a lot, everybody enjoys a break, a deep breath, and then an endless stream of posts leading up that long muddy hill to November 8th. 

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. - Georgia  O'Keefe

Speaking of a break... looks as if we're going to get a break in the sunshine over the next few days, just non-stop rain and overcast skies. I would close all the windows and clean my apartment, but I have the boy all weekend and he does not relish newly created order in the same way that I do. Sometimes I think we're complete opposites, but age can do that to a person, make them feel as if all of life is disappearing and as such is also against them. 

I mean, it is, but one need not feel that way all the time. 

Here's an excerpt from an article I recently read, concerning the Darwinian take on longevity and death:
The really fascinating part (by which I mean the really depressing part) is how this effect reinforces itself. The more likely it is that you're dead, the less your genes care about you. The less your genes care about you, the more likely it is that you're dead. And this has been going on throughout our evolutionary history, so we've accumulated all sorts of weird malfunctions that kick in late in our lives. The human genome is riddled with them, and most of the genes involved are also part of normal development and reproduction. These malfunctions cluster around a certain age: the age when evolution stops caring about us because, statistically speaking, we're already dead. 

Chew on that for a bit: You're not sick, you've just entered your golden phase of Statistical Uselessness. You should consider this a relief - to no longer be burdened with all the fussiness of procreation, the many buttons and zippers of good hot, sweaty, life.

My plan is to trick Darwinian evolution altogether and die during childbirth. Jesus Iscariot, that sentence contains some dark seeds.

I used to make an open joke around people that barely knew me: I would claim that both my parents died long before I was born. It would take hours for some people to get it.

It turned out to be a lie.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

There was no such thing as middle ground in Beirut, either


Staying clear of politics is impossible. Rather, it is easy but staying clear of politically motivated social commentary is tedious, like cleaning gum out of your hair with peanut butter, in public. Everybody that I know is either scared, pissed, or really scared. Nobody can understand how any of this is happening. 

As a reminder, things can always get worse. 

The desperation to finally once and for all do away with the other party is really gaining steam on both sides. In fact, it's all steam. It's unfortunate that Hillary has worked so hard and for so long to build a coalition with republicans, particularly as their party is dissolving into the national herpes outbreak that is Trump. For many, there simply isn't enough adequate political distance between Hillary and her opponent. I mean sure, she's probably never raped anybody, but the differences for many become fuzzy after that. Rape is not political, you see.  

I kid, but only a bit. Our two options are not nearly as polarized as either of their supporters insist they are and almost everybody knows it. There is no option for many, and that is evidenced by the recurring question, Who can possibly still be undecided in this election? 

There is only a semblance of winning and losing. It's like playing badminton unusually well at a company picnic, surprising everybody for a brief moment. In the end, nobody really gives a shit who triumphed. Even the victor struggles to hold the memory until the following year's picnic. I call shuttlecock!

I can tell you who is undecided in this election: Me - undecided if I care any more. 

It's impossible not to be backed into a corner with Hillary supporters, because the looming vision of a Trump presidency is so horrific that it can be effectively used as intimidation, and that is precisely what they are using it for. We're supposed to vote for Hillary because of Donald. There is a "Vote for Hillary, or else..." atmosphere to much of what I see. I probably will, but I'm also willing to sell my vote right now if the payment I receive is only that I will be left alone until after January.

I don't hate Hillary, but I refuse to believe in her as a genuine leader. Sure, she has had many successes, she also represents many things that are flatly wrong and deeply misguided. She probably hasn't raped anybody, but her politics have. There is that to think about, also, when choosing a national leader. 

It must be very weird at times to be Donald Trump, to know as a deeply held personal conviction that people's hatred for you is rooted only in their jealousy of you. Ah, to never again have to question the validity of the scathing assessments from your many detractors. 

The defense of Hillary is convoluted. To assess her stiffness as a candidate, or any of her other plainly visible qualities that have nothing at all to do with her being a woman, is to engage in systemic misogyny. So we've been first led to believe, then intimidated into not questioning. Sounds like a healthy election is about to unfold. 

This is not to say that sexism plays no part in her public treatment, because it very much does, but she has been insulated with the poorly thought out and vastly inadequate feminist rhetoric of decades gone by. When that doesn't work she simply shields herself with Trump's foibles. It all makes sense, I just can't believe that it actually works. It's the genius of democracy in the age of universally enforced media saturation. 

There are some who will not be happy until a woman is granted supreme power, without need for this patriarchal-rape-democracy. It's not misogynistic to notice, it's liberating. The aggrieved do not wish to be validated or invalidated with an election. They have been taught to pursue justice by other means, because they are on the path of the righteously inclined, you see. 

Worse, emboldened by the successes of political correctness, the far right populace has now crawled out from under themselves with a similarly framed contention - that they have been the long suffering victims of social change. What about white-on-white profits? The real crime is that they can't even openly express their racism without being criticized. They simply want to live in a world in which everybody's racist opinions are acknowledged and given room to breath. 

None of it makes any sense, at all.

The national argument has been reduced to the level where it has always belonged, that of screaming and hateful partial-relatives forced to endure the holiday voting season together. Soon enough, we'll all be able to return to our little panopticons of preference, firing off pithy observations about the police brutality problem, or how we spend more money on war than we do on education, or when will we ever really know the truth about OJ's involvement in 9/11. 

Ugh. Victory seems inconceivable, yet we're told that failure is our only option to get there. 

Many hold up a broken shard of what America used to be and they want the entire other half of the nation, those that similarly hold a shard of what America might one day become, to be less mystified as to where the middle ground is at which to meet. There is no central region to finally determine that those two sets of shards do not create any coherent whole. There is only broken glass, champagne, and the claim of victory. 

Something has to give. 

Many that read that last sentence know precisely who will need to lose to make things great. It is merely the correcting of the persistent wrongness of others. 

There are so many cultural differences between the two sides. How will we ever even pick a news station? One side doesn't seem to understand how the government could possibly protect the trans-gender community's right to use the bathroom. The other side doesn't understand why the producers of Duck Dynasty are not festering in a prison dungeon somewhere, at the very bottom of solitary confinement, forever. Though they are of course against mandatory minimum sentences. 

America has been backed up into a corner by the other America, more than ever we have run out of space for half of us. There is no escape. I only wish that all public bathroom usage was invite-only, you know, the way prisons were meant to be.


Monday, October 10, 2016

A Boy and his Bow

I love the borrowed lens. I must own one, soon. There are images that arrive straight out of the camera (above) that I find fascinating. There's some little inherent drama to much of what appears on the other side of the lens. It has some built-in myth. 

The above was from the boy and I playing bow and arrow in the backyard. I captured a magical little moment in which the bow appears to be floating in relation to the boys hand - summoned by it, levitating under his power.

I love it. 

I took hundreds of pictures yesterday. The curved bokeh effect is fantastic. What's another $500? There is an unsettling darkness to many of the images that I took yesterday. One friend referred to the image below as "shroomy," which it is, but it is other things also. 

The boy's mother found the image disconcerting. 

It's not as if the image has to be unnerving. It just happens. It's the single-shooter standing his ground look.

The below image was taken within a few minutes of the above ones. It just lacks the occultish charm of the others. 

The dream-like-state of the soft focus will go far. It creates a sense of the fantastical that speaks to me. I'll never shoot a sharp image again. I swear it for all of now.

I have been shooting in Manual mode, to prepare for the arrival of my Nikon FM2n film camera this week, so the exposure is not always correct, or even close, but sometimes the lucky accidents are better than the other, and sometimes luck is all that there is. 


Sunday, October 9, 2016


I took my Nikon F100 out and shot yesterday, with some AGFA CT 100 Precisa slide reversal. I doubt that I'll even get this roll processed. I was convinced to buy the CT 100 film when getting my last rolls of good slide reversal developed, but when I looked at example images online I was less than impressed with them. I felt stupid just ripping the remainder of the roll out of the camera, so I just shot with it. Now, I'm curious what some of the images will look like. 

More money, uselessly tossed on the landfill furnace of life that I live. Don't worry, it was only more pics of Cato, who came to visit Sonoma yesterday. 

It was the new Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens that I was most curious about. Now, I'll put some Ilford HP5 in and see what happens. Well, we'll see in a few months when I finally get the rolls developed. 

My son is understandably enthused about me having a new lens to shoot with:

He loves mythologizing - getting dressed up as a pirate, having dad do the same. He has only recently shown interest in photography. Below are some pics that he took yesterday while we were out riding bikes - two portraits and a landscape that could also be considered a still life. 


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Don't Mess...

I am tired of the world. Or rather, tired of the world I live in. Few things in my life have been as dispiriting as this presidential campaign. I just want it to be over with. My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is finally beginning. There will be no winning for the overwhelming majority of Americans. When both candidates are polling as being the two least liked candidates in history then something is very broken.

Trump advocates sexual assault, now. As if that will matter to anybody that was on the fence. When America sends its voters, they're not sending their best. They're sending the rapists. Some of them, I'm sure, are good people.

What the fuck.

The other day I began an argument with this knob-end from Texas. He likes to make sweeping categorical statements about what liberals think and believe, and the many faults found therein, particularly the hypocrisy of liberalism. Within seconds he was offering to compare tax returns with me. I guess that is the expected behavior from an adult in Texas. Who knows. I offered to pleasure his wife for him, a sentiment that I felt was commensurately childish and crude with the tax return offer. Nobody seemed to understand that, or that any of the other jokes I was making, were in response to an idiotic challenge. I must seem like Andy Kaufman to conservatives, nonsensical and also unsettling. I am certain that ol' Anthony T. Weiner from Texas was one click away from offering me a dick pic and demanding to see mine. 

That's normal in Texas. So, don't mess.

Honestly, what the fuck... Somehow, I still ended up being the bad guy in this exchange, of course, and to no one's genuine surprise. It had something to do with family honor. Seriously offering to compare taxes is acceptable, jokingly offering to pleasure a woman is somehow over the line. I know that I am a lopsided believer in many things, but you tell me, does that sound right? I hadn't quite realized that my opponent was related to my friend, and his wife was my buddy's sister, but, oh well, and oops... all is fair in love and taxes. 

Because nothing quite supports an opinion as does the amount of personal federal taxes paid. We are certainly doing everything we can to move towards a truly progressive society, one in which only the wealthiest can possibly benefit from "democracy" through voting. 

Social media politics and cheap polemics has beaten the life out of me. I used to find it mildly engaging. Not any more. I have learned my lesson. I'll stay away from it, quit cold turkey, as they say.  It won't be easy. I had thought that socio-political addiction of this kind was funny, until I found myself married, with kids, a sore asshole... angrily offering to show some online stranger my 1040 Long Form.