Unable to Put Together a Coherent Thought
I have tried to write this first sentence a dozen times, and I can’t even begin my thought. I’ve been anguishing over writer’s block for a month or so now, and it’s driving me crazy. I can’t even piece together a coherent narrative about anything except my personal life. So instead of writing about a particular topic, I’m just going to list a bunch of things I’m angry about right now.
I understand that they are having a tough time right now because of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster, but why are my American citizen Asian friends cheering for Japan?
The imperialistic nature of historic Japan has caused the deaths of countless people, stripped entire countries of their wealth, etc. This is the same country that still supports whaling which needlessly kills thousands of animals that take several decades to mature. This is also the same country that has consumed the Atlantic bluefin tuna literally to the brink of extinction.
I live in Louisiana and I’ve seen Japanese fishing boats in freaking Louisiana. They have no respect for the ocean and their consumption of the ocean is unsustainable. Mitsubishi (yes that same company) is freezing Atlantic bluefin tuna for long term keeping as they wait for the fish to go extinct, so that they can sell it for extremely inflated prices. Say what you want about livestock and how they are treated, but they don’t take decades to mature and they aren’t going extinct.
Basically the same rant, but with the rise of middle class China, their consumption of sushi and shark fin soup is also destroying the ocean. When 90 million sharks are killed in one year to feed mostly Chinese consumption of shark fin soup, there is a major problem. Apex predators take a long time to develop, and the way these sharks are fished is wasteful.
The Chinese don’t eat sharks. They just eat the fins. The sharks are “finned’ which means their fins are cut off and the live sharks are dumped back into the ocean. Without their fins, they can’t swim, they sink to the bottom, and rot on the ocean floor.
These are extremely large predators who take several years/decades to develop and the only thing used are the fins. The rest… the fishermen don’t even bother with… it’s just dumped.
– Jordan Jefferson
LSU’s senior QB. After 3 years of mostly starting and playing very poorly, this kid is talking about the Heisman. Instead of concentrating on the team, he’s making outlandish comments about being a 1st round pick. Glad to see you have your priorities straight.
– The Legal Market and Student Loans
Meh, I don’t even have the energy to rant about that right now.
– The NFL Lockout and Criminal NFL Behavior
I’m tired of hearing about this. You can’t watch a single sports segment on any news station, watch any sports channel, read any website, etc. without it being mentioned. I don’t get it. The NFL is making money hand over fist. All their franchises are making money, but now the owners want more? It’s ridiculous.
Then the players… while they have my sympathy in this labor dispute… why does it seem like everyone is getting arrest for assault, getting pulled over for DWI’s, making negative comments in the media, etc.? It’s hard to feel sorry for players when players are beating their wives and former roommates, killing people while drunk driving, fighting dogs, discharging firearms in clubs, raping college girls in bathrooms, using illegal drugs, fleeing from the police, shooting people, etc.
There’s even a blog for it. http://nflcrimes.blogspot.com/ Enjoy.
– Arsenal and Arsene Wenger
I won’t bore anyone with the details of a soccer club, but the only player movement happens during the summer and the month of January. So this summer has been obscenely frustrated for long time Arsenal supporters, and it’s gotten to the point after supporting the same team for 20 years that myself and my best friend are considering picking a new team and starting over.
– My Dad’s Guitar
My dad has a custom made Woodley White guitar from 2003 that’s lightly used and worth several thousand dollars. It just sits there, so I’ve been playing it… poorly. It’s been very frustrating. Instead of blaming myself… I’m blaming the guitar for being intimidating.
– The People of my Hometown
It has dawned on me in recent times that everything I want to accomplish in life can come to fruition if I embrace my hometown. I actually love my hometown, but as a single young man, it offers me very little. It’s just that there’s nothing I want to experience in my hometown. It’s absurdly dull and boring to me despite having a decent sized population. It stalls my interest in working and living there.
It’s amazing how a small town mindset and lack of diverse experiences can make a well read college educated person dull. Most people never left Louisiana or Texas for their education. Most people have only traveled abroad to smoke marijuana in the Netherlands, hung out on some beach, or did a mission trip in a Latin American country. The food choices in the town are lacking, so people’s palates aren’t even interesting. In the heart of Cajun country, people buy roux in a jar or instant powdered roux. Apparently, people can’t be bothered to learn how to cook butter and flour in different consistencies, tastes, and colors for different dishes. If I were married, I would love my hometown. It’s a great place for routine, but for out of the ordinary? It’s obscenely dull.
People in Lake Charles remind of that scene in Good Will Hunting when Robin Williams takes Matt Damon to the park.
"You don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about. You’ve never been out of Boston. So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help.
I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ‘cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you… I don’t see an intelligent, confident man… I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You’re an orphan right? You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally… I don’t give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can’t learn anything from you, I can’t read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t want to do that do you sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.“
Everyone has a chip on their shoulder about living in Lake Charles. Everyone overcompensates with their knowledge about everything. Everyone is a smart ass about everything. So many know-it-alls who assume to know who you are, how you feel, what you think… it’s disgusting.
I’ve actually encountered people recently who act like I have no idea what it is like to be the victim of racism. Why bother getting to know me if you don’t learn the ups and downs of my life? Am I supposed to pretend it has all been good? Do I deserve to be attacked when I tell a sad story because you think I’m playing up the victim angle?
People can’t get over the fact that just because it feels like you know everyone in your hometown doesn’t mean you in fact know everyone in your home town. If you don’t grow up with someone, seen their childhood, know their family, saw their heartbreaks and heartaches, saw their happiness and suffering, saw them get in and out of trouble with the law, etc., you can only get to know a person and bridge that experience gap… by listening to them.
You don’t judge them or interrupt them. You don’t make assumptions about them. You give them time to frame their narrative and catch up on their life story. I honestly think this is a skill better developed by travelers and people from larger cities. When you’re used to meeting strange people, you know how to listen to their entire narrative before you judge.
It’s infinitely faster to pigeon hole someone by stereotyping them for a handful of facts from where they went to church, where they went to elementary school, where they went to high school, what part of town they lived in, what sports they played, what clubs they were in, who their friends were, etc.
But if you really want to establish a connection with that person and really get to know them, shut up and listen. Maybe the stories are embellished, facts smudged, timing off, but how a person remembers their life and how a person feels about the moments in their life… can give you insight to them.
I’ve listened all my life to my father’s stories. I’ve heard some of them dozens and dozens of times. It’s not the story that matters anymore. It’s how he tells them, when he tells them, how his emotions are displayed when he tells them, what it seems to mean to him, what was the purpose of telling that story at that particular moment, etc.
There’s just too many insecure smartasses sitting there poking holes into everything and trying to figure out their next witty retort. It’s that same failure driven fatalistic mindset that impedes anything from changing, improving, growing, etc. Being so sucked into the status quo that even if they hate it, they feel like they won’t escape it and that no one else will. Well, fuck you very much, my family is proof that you can change your fortunes.
Finally, I’m done. I feel better. Thank you Windsor for suggesting that I just write all the crap down even if I feel like it’s crap. Maybe I’ll write something better tomorrow.