Fundamental Truths

  • In war the best policy is to take a state intact.
  • Too Much is the Same as Not Enough
  • Fear is the Mind-Killer
  • All Warfare is based upon deception.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Word...

So, as I blundered about this past week, shuttling to and from my job slinging pizza, I couldn't help noticing the Earth Day festivities shaping up in town.

It was a gigantic crock of egregious bullshit... as anyone with eyes could have seen.

We had a bunch of middle-class, upper-middle class, and upper-class intellectuals feeling guilty in their shirts with collars, ties, and fashionable dresses, and a bunch of smelly, unwashed, dreadlocked hippie white kids feeling smug and self-righteous in their grungy t-shirts and hemp pants.

Neither group is one I'd trust to accomplish a simple act like tying its shoes without fucking up, and I know what the view from the inside is like.

So, while the least competent people in town got together to listen to speeches on how their responsibility as stewards of the planet is immeasurable, the rest of the world just went about its business. And why not? They have theirs.

My disgust with and for my fellow man is hard to chart, and it's not like I'm appreciably better.

But God damn it, I don't lie to myself about it. I don't pretend that getting wide-eyed and nervous for one week out of the year excuses all the fucked up, wasteful things I do.

Living sustainably is going to require a cutting back in so many areas it's simply beyond what most of us- fat, happy, and easily distracted- are willing to give up.

In part, this is why I look forward to the next year or three of living in a village of fewer than 150 people.

I will HAVE to give up some of the things I take for granted. I will HAVE to be careful about what I throw out.

Because yeah, you can recycle your glass jam jars... or you can turn them into glasses and save us all a lot of goddamn trouble.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tips and the Single Scumbag

So, to no one's surprise, I continue to be single and continue to hate it.

But there are definitely silver linings to this particular dark cloud.

For one, I'm going to be hell and gone in the middle of nowhere next year. I don't know of many relationships that can survive that much time apart, and I know even fewer women who'd follow a guy into a village of less than 150 people with limited access to the wider world and a position above the Arctic Circle. So there's that.

And then there's something that came to mind as I counted my tips from work tonight.
It's all mine.

All that walking around cash is mine. No dates, no birthdays, no anniversaries, all of the meager cash I bring in belongs solely to yours truly. Not the best motive, to be sure, but when you're used to being as damned broke as I am, it matters.

Now, would I chuck it all in if I found a nice young thing willing to give me a try?

Five years ago, the answer would have been a resounding yes.

But in that five years, I've seen what floundering around after you're dropped like a bad habit can do to you, and now, I have to look out for myself.

Love can make you do insane, crazy, stupid, wonderful things, and if I fall in love again, I'm sure it'll do precisely that.

But until then, I'm keeping my eyes on the prize- financial freedom.

Because without it, I'm always going to be some jerk mooching off of his parents and having pipe dreams about his contributions to his friends.

And I've had quite enough of that for one lifetime.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A New Name

So, I changed the header on this little exercise in blathering.

I have a couple of reasons, but first and foremost, now that I'm clear of Utah and back in Alaska, I can honestly say that I do not, in fact, hate it here.

It's home, or as much home as I can claim anywhere, and the land is the sort of thing dreams are made of. For one thing, it's actually possible to get away from the rest of the human race if one is so inclined.

I can do things like fire my guns without having the police show up.

Even in our cities, places like Anchorage (where I am sitting, at present), one can see impressive natural features without having to look terribly hard. My 11th-floor hotel room has a commanding view of the Cook inlet. Not a boat in sight, either. What I love most is how the city, the most built-up, urbanized part of it, just dead-ends at the beach. You can go from modest-sized city to empty space in ten steps.

I'm glad I was born before humanity filled up the land. I can see it coming- my childhood haunts are getting houses put on them, old trails now dead-end, or worse, get converted into driveways. And if this happens in Alaska, of all places... It'll be a miracle if there's any open space that isn't some kind of park left in a few decades.

And I have no stomach for a world even more crowded than the one we've got.

'Cause I may not hate it HERE, but you can bet your ass I hate PEOPLE.

Of Scum, Fire, and Hope.

Some time ago, a few of us tried to figure out what united our happy little tribe of miscreants.

And we were drawing a blank.

Almost anything any of us liked was not merely disliked but despised by at least one of the others.

And then someone mentioned fire, and we all got quiet.

We are a collection of utterly despicable pyros, devoted to the art of setting things ablaze to an unhealthy degree. All of us know a bit of fire science, and our fires run the gamut from perfect coals for camp cooking to towering infernos that only an imbecile would get within miles of.

And for a couple of years, we accepted fire as the unifying cultural element we shared.

Then the baby came along. Our fearless leader begat spawn. And we all found her delightful.

To put this in perspective, we are not generally a bunch of soft-hearted baby-lovers. In fact, we mostly regard(ed) children as wretched little creatures that couldn't even handle ammo runs adequately.

And all of us would cheerfully kill in this child's defense. And by "kill," I mean "wallow in atrocity and bloodshed."

And in some strange way, I think that may be the only damned thing that saves us. Our own survival is fine and all, but it goes nowhere without some kind of future. And these kids that our own have started having? They motivate us in ways we don't fully comprehend.

Thank heavens for that.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Scraps From a Geek Bible.

Some of my closest friends know that I've put a little effort into making a sort of "agnostic bible."

Which is to say, I collect quotes from any source that fit my undefined and scattershot approach to a worldview... And no source has been quite as rich as the universe of Dune. Which is funny and kind of sad, given the Dune-verse's take on religion in general and rote litany in particular... with that said, here are a few excerpts from my latest cullings...

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
- The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

"Bless the Maker and all His Water. Bless the coming and going of Him, May His passing cleanse the world. May He keep the world for his people."
- While I'm not even a Deist, as such, I've always found Shai-Hulud a more credible notion of a Deity than anyone who gave a damn about the fate of an individual human. And this quotation expresses an attitude toward the unknown that I can support.

"Let us not rail about justice as long as we have arms and the freedom to use them."
- From Duke Leto, rather than any of the weird ideologies in the novels, but a useful aphorism.

"Parting with friends is a sadness. A place is only a place."
- Nothing sums up what the last few years have taught me quite so well.

Dune Messiah
"You do not take from this universe. It grants you what it will."

Children of Dune
"This is the fallacy of power: ultimately it is effective only in an absolute, a limited universe. But the basic lesson of our relativistic universe is that things change. Any power must always meet a greater power."

God-Emperor of Dune
"You should never be in the company of anyone with whom you would not want to die."
- If ever my view on socializing were summed up.

Chapterhouse: Dune
"Laws to suppress tend to strengthen what they would prohibit. This is the fine point on which all the legal professions of history have based their job security."

"Show me a completely smooth operation and I'll show you a cover up. Real boats rock."

A Game of Thrones"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

The Fellowship of the Ring
"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."

"The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."

"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."

The Return of the King"If we all got angry together something might be done."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back North

So, about a week ago, I managed to escape the hellhole of Utah and return to the hellhole I grew up in, Fairbanks, Alaska.

I am already a little happier.

For one, I am back on familiar ground. The forest I ran through as a child is still here, I know the roads, and I know where almost everything is.

And with luck, I'll be someplace where I can learn a thing or two inside of a year.

You see, it came to me while I was dragging myself over the hills and dales of Ogden, that I may be in a position to be of extra help to my comrades in arms, given enough time.

Because I will be living in the closest thing available in the United States to a Third World country. Many Village houses have no running water, and getting supplies from the wider world is both expensive and time-consuming.

Essentially, I will be getting a much-needed test run in areas like personal rationing and fending for myself with what is at hand. Yes, I'll have a safety net.

But you have to start somewhere.