Tag Archives: duped

Enlightenment! Get Yer Enlightenment Here!

My friend Monica Hamburg posted a hilarious daily-deal from Ethical Deals on her Facebook page today. Oh, how I laughed.

Dude’s selling basically spiritual enlightenment for $129, a savings of 84%, you lucky motherfuckers. Act now or forever live in the dark. Free shipping.

You know why he’s selling “awakening” for 84% off? Because you can’t BUY ENLIGHTENMENT, chumps.

Shot by me. You’ll find enlightenment faster here than in a classroom.

It’s not a “Oh, shit! Wrong aisle! I was looking in aisle 7B, next to the Mexican food” scenario. Enlightenment doesn’t come with a t-shirt and a money-back guarantee. It’s not something you take a course for then suddenly you got ALL YOUR SHIT FIGURED OUT.

Are you kidding me?

You think THE MYSTERY OF LIFE comes in a 2-DVD pack with a bonus Afterlife pamphlet? You think it’s just that easy to understand? You think that’s why people have been asking “What’s the meaning of life?” since the time of Socrates and Plato? Because asshole on a Daily Deal site IS HOLDING ALL THE SECRETS, and you gotta pay $129 for that shit?

I heard someone say the average IQ is 85, so it suddenly makes sense why I want to slap people so much, but let’s see if I can overcome that and write this anyhow.

You don’t need no fucking enlightenment course. Anything you need to know about life has been written already. Hell, you can stick to 50 years of creative content in the 20th century and answer anything you need to know about life. For the price of a library card, you can attain Nirvana.

Ken Kesey, one of America’s greatestest writers EVER, once said something to the effect of, if you can’t find God in your backyard in Kansas, you won’t find him at Egypt’s pyramids either.  (“God” there is whatever you want it to be — enlightenment, awakening, meaning of life, whatever, man.)

Okay. Don’t gotta go to Egypt. And don’t live in Kansas, but I’ve got Wizard of Oz on the PVR, so I’m set, bitches.

The secret to life isn’t out there, it’s in you. Just like Jack Palance’s gravelly old cowboy mutters in Billy Crystal’s City Slickers, that the secret to life is, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that, and everything else don’t mean shit.”

That “one thing” is different for everyone. For you, maybe it’s butter chicken.

I won’t pretend I’ve mastered my one thing, but I’m closer to it now than I’ve ever been. And, like everyone should know, it’s not about attaining it, it’s about the chase.

Like Will Smith says in The Pursuit of Happyness, the constitution doesn’t promise finding happiness, only the pursuit of it.

For me, I find that’s the secret of life. Never stopping the search for more, never becoming stagnant, always trying to be better. Like a snowball rolling down a hillside. As long as it doesn’t stop, it just keeps growing.

I get that some people feel unhinged and lost, and that feeling overwhelms them. I get that others feel there’s no point to life, that they’re a cog on some wheel of stupidity and nothing matters, and they’re desperately hoping to find anything that will change that perception.

I kinda think accepting and embracing those bitter truths are a part of enlightenment too. Feeling small is good. It makes problems less traumatic. Feeling like the world will go on without you should free you from your panic, not increase it. Knowing it all comes down to you finding meaning in your own life is an empowering thing. If you’re not living for a reason, then that’s your choice, and either you accept that choice or you change it ASAP.

Enlightenment can happen in a parking lot, on a beach, in the dark of night while you’re in bed, staring at the ceiling in bed. It probably ain’t happening in a classroom or in front of a computer monitor, though.

Enlightenment” is also about relinquishing some control and understanding that the good and bad come in waves, and living in the moment makes it less encompassing.

And that sounds easy but it’s not. There are a lot of factors in life that we can control — being in a place we like living, having the time to do things that make our heart feel full, choosing to live in the moment rather than What-If Land — and there are many that we cannot. No matter who dies on us, what tragedies befall us, there is always, always, always a life beyond that experience, and we have to dial up the courage of ancient explorers in order to travel to those new, scary lands of change. That ain’t easy to do, either.

But that’s what it’s about. That’s life. Constant change. Not all of the happy-happy, fun-fun variety, but all of the relevant, educational variety.

If you ain’t on the move and having new experience, you’re not living. You’re avoiding death.

There’s your enlightenment. On sale for 100% off, with free shipping and handling, all thanks to a blog and a library card, man.

Namaste, motherfuckers.

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On Freedom and Fallacies

This is take two on this topic. I’m starting fresh a couple hours later, after a glass of wine and homemade chicken pot pie.

It’s the second take because this topic is really important to me and I don’t want to fuck it up.

Thank god I have quality guidance like that of Fame. Yes, you heard me, the ‘80s arts school drama. It’s on, and I’m chilling. Defragging my mind, as I like to say. Watching fluff is exactly the right fit, and has given me some interesting perspective as I crack this nut for a second time.

Funnily, a girl in this episode of Fame scoffs at the notion of writing her private thoughts and dreams in a diary at the teacher’s urging.

“If I wrote down my dreams,” she says, “I’d get arrested.”

Yeah. Huh. Ironic.

To that end, take note of the week that was in the world of the wide web. Proper fucked, indeed. It’s like a crash course in What Not to Do in the Intertubez.

A Montreal guy writes some shit in a forum then figures rifle + college = a good afternoon’s plan.

Like the motherfucking coward he was, he went out and tried to kill a bunch of people. Realizing he couldn’t even do a massacre right, he deprived us of the fun of letting cops kill him. The coward took his life. Fucking better off dead, anyhow.

But he wrote in forums.

We shoulda seen it coming.

A dickhead in Seattle decides he’s going to act like a fucking 13-year-old and reposts another city’s craigslist ad by some dirty-minded femme, and gets a couple hundred responses or something, then figgers he’s got rights to publish that private correspondence in an attempt to expose those apparent sickos to the world.

But they answered a public ad.

They shoulda seen it coming.

A young mother in Florida writes her secret other self dark thoughts on a public blog, and then her child goes mysteriously missing, improbably snatched from their window. Young mother kills herself 16 days into the toddler’s absence.

But she wrote dark shit on blogs, then her kid vanishes.

We shoulda seen it coming.

A video diarist on the world wide web is exposed as a professional actress working off a script. The show is produced, directed, and written, yet has duped the majority of its viewers, primarily through YouTube.com, into believing the so-called lonelygirl15 was a teenaged girl locked in her bedroom and homeschooled by orthodox religious parents. Doh.

She’s a fake.

Like ohmigod. But she, like, really talked to us, man!”

You shoulda seen it coming.

It’s happening. It’s really fucking happening.

You know what I’m talking about.

For some godforsaken reason, it’s starting to occur to people that this, like, internet thing might just be a way of seeing what’s really going on in the noggins of little people everywhere.

And, um, uh-oh, but what’s going on in those little people’s noggins everywhere is something that’s not very pretty.

Some people, it would seem, are angry.

Some of them even feel disenfranchised. And, look. They’re acting on this shit.

Yeah, well. When the odds are stacked, you ought not be surprised at the outcome. Probability and logic being what they are and all, yes?

I’m part of the generation that got schooled in Orwell’s classic 1984. We were raised to believe that someday, one day, the government would hear every word we would utter, and freedom would be a thing of the past.

I’ll be honest, the Digital Age scares me.

The ease with which people can access information about me is frightening. It should frighten you, too. Unfortunately, the time is coming nigh where voices on the web are not just an anonymous blur with little impact on the real world. Now, we’re not so anonymous, and now this world is more real than it is virtual.

There’s coming a time where what you say here is going to come home to haunt you. This is the age of insinuation, and anything you say can be manipulated and used against you. Decide now if you plan to live in fear of that, or if you have the balls to play the game my way, and own your ability to say what you think and how you feel.

In forums such as this, someone such as me might decide to write a little bloggie in which the entire contents of our deepest darkest other selves are posted up on virtual walls for the world at large to indulge in.

In essence, it’s a voice. I have a voice, you have a voice, we all have voices.

It’s idyllic. A virtual Utopia in which we’re all given voices and identities, something that ironically clashes with our seemingly democratic lives – lives spent living in societies that claim to be governed by the people, of the people, for the people.

Only they’re not like any people I’ve ever known.

And I don’t feel like I belong.

And I’m tired of feeling this small because I’m just an ordinary gal.

I thought I’d take my voice and use it. I’m not alone. You’re doing it too. And him, and her, and hey.

We all took our existences online, where we thought we’d have the right to say what we think whenever the fuck it pops into mind.

Unfortunately, when such vocal freedom is enjoyed by a world at large, some of those voices will be beyond dissent. They will be voices of rage and fury and vengeance. Or maybe they’ll be coolly quiet.

And that’s a risk we take by allowing open dialogue.

Every now and then, though, those voices will be warning signals. Intervention might occur, and it might segue to prevention.

Just because assholes and the disenfranchised like these can use the web to serve their fucted means doesn’t necessitate that the rest of us should have to watch our words.

Sadly, the voice of reason doesn’t seem to resonate these days. I fear that the talking heads of today might soon decide that there is such thing as too much free speech and they will indeed succeed in legislating the internet.

In which case now might be the time to, like the good hunter Elmer Fudd suggests, be vewwy, vewwy qwiet.

Only we’re not hunting rabbits.

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What Wicked Web We’re Weaving

It’s been a rough week or two in the CyberGalaxy. At one end of the connectivity cosmos, a fraud in the Emerald City, Jason Fortuny, who duped the Craigslist sex-starved masses into sending to him graphic and revealing personal emails that were then splayed accross the world wide web for mockery and exposing.

Then, at the seeming other end of the sticky web, Lonelygirl15, who similarly duped the masses, but this time into believing a series of well-developed and elaborate hoaxes revolving around her as the poor disenfranchised trapped little daughter of overly religious parents.

And tonight we’ve heard the news that an avid blogger mother has apparently committed suicide while her child has been snatched from his crib. Missing, dead, who knows. Her blog reveals disturbing and dark imagery in her writing.

All in all, it’s been a rough few days for the blogworld. There are repercussions out there in the real world for what we do in this one. It sometimes seems a rude awakening to some bloggers, but it is what it is. I’ve had my last employer sending me emails about postings I’ve been doing. We discussed my perception of their firm. It’s been interesting getting that delayed reaction.

I plan to tackle these above topics in a single post over the next few days, but just to lay the groundwork, there’s the outline up there. If you have any opinions about the strangeness of these three varied examples of cybersecrets go boom, please do share.

UPDATE:

THE MOTHER WHO HAS COMMITTED SUICIDE as a result of a grilling by Nancy Grace on her scandalous Headline News show, after her toddler being snatched (but some suspect she had a hand in it, given the nature of her blogging) is 21-year-old Melinda Duckett.

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