I don’t know how familiar you are with the TV series Alphas as it only aired a few series and wasn’t particularly popular. However, the idea of the show is that there are super humans named, “alphas.” Alphas have different heightened senses or neurological deficiencies that usually act in their favor (one of them releases a pheromone when he’s anxious that causes everyone to go into a rage and fight each other, for example, which allows him to flee the scene).

Well, one of the alphas is named Stanton Parish and is the canonical villain of the series. His alpha ability? He never dies. He’s like a wolverine-zombie-without-the-adamantium. He gets shot in the head and a week later rises from the dead. His mission is to eventually wipe out the race of humans and repopulate it with a world of alphas because he believes that they are hyper-efficient human beings. And, he’s obsessed with the fact that he cannot die.

And then, there’s Larry Ellison who is the canonical villain of the technically inclined. His ultimate dream? Longevity. That’s why he drinks so much damned carrot juice. I’d be willing to bet that he has some computer system hooked up to his vital systems to shock him back to life if death were to befall him. His mission is to eventually control everything by being one of the largest conglomerate monopolies in today’s economy because he believes so heavily in Oracle’s mission statement as a company. And, he’s obsessed with his yacht.

If that weren’t enough parallels, then here’s the kicker for the disbelievers:

Image

Same facial hair? Same fucking person.

I had a dream last night. It began with me swimming in a wave pool at a run-down, nasty, filth-infested water amusement park (probably something like Water Country; there are better places to feel and be young, rest assured) and I see a scratch ticket floating in the water.

I picked it up and it must have just fallen in the water because I could still scratch it. So, I did and to my surprise, it had won millions of dollars. I was ecstatic, I thought of all the bills that I could pay down, how I could finally pay off all my college debt and how easy life would be without financial restraint. However, I looked around and saw not too far from my location a group of little kids, maybe 7-10 years old with their parents. All of the little kids had a scratch ticket in their hand except for one kid. Immediately, I felt guilty. But, I rationalized with myself; the money would help me.

As I began to secure the ticket, I heard a voice (presumably of a friend, but I don’t recall looking at my friend, so I couldn’t identify who it was or it was my conscience) say, “Aren’t you going to give it back to him?”

And so — I have presented this question to a few people. And this seems like a pretty decent philosophical dilemma. Why does morality go out the window with scratch tickets?

If you rephrase the story with it being a purse I found, most people would try to return it. If you rephrase it the story with it being a purse that has a scratch ticket in it, most people would try to return the purse with the scratch ticket intact. However, when you can visibly see the owner and you know it’s not yours but it’s a scratch ticket most people rationalize reasons to quantify why they should keep it, when in reality it’s merely greed.

Is that the condition of human morality? And if so, what does that say about us as “rational agents”?

Needlessly, a fun dilemma.

It’s an art being careless…

Most people just claim to “not give a fuck,” or “not give any fucks.” But, to truly not give a single fuck, is quite hard, it seems. And that’s what this post is all about.

Awhile ago, on a blog from a distant land, I had posted about two fellows that had sporadically popped into existence into my mind; one was named Mr. Blitzhoover and the other was named Mr. Junkhoward. I used them as archetypes for different kinds of people. The Blitzhoovers were capable of just moving with the rhythm of the world and not having conscious control over everything. The Junkhowards, on the other hand, constantly checked their watches (or cellphones, for modernity) to try to control their situation.

Ultimately, through a series of examples, I concluded that Blitzhoover, in his lack of control, finds much more control in his life. While, Junkhoward, in his relentlessness to control, lacks control entirely.

And, so, for an anecdotal story, because that’s really what this blog post was about anyway. Recently, I was driving my car to go to the gym while I was eating a peach. I had not eaten a peach in quite some time so I had forgotten how juicy the suckers were. I sank right in. *Crhhhhssssz* (approximately the noise my mouth made when delving in; intense) The first bite generated a fair amount of peach ooziness dripping down my arm. I thought for a little bit about it: Was I, to my rational self, indebted to cleaning this mess up before taking another bite? Or, was I, to my primal self, indebted to enjoying this peach to the fullest and allowing it to ooze all over me?

I’d define more with the Blitzhoovers’ and so I resonated with the latter. I rolled my windows down, turned my music up, put my shades on and sank into the peach again. *Crhhhhssssz* It oozed all over me. My hand was dripping onto my white t-shirt and my blue shorts. Heat rays attempted to absorb the peach through my windshield, $6 dollar shades shielded my eyes and the music didn’t matter much because in my head I was singing The Presidents of the United States (peaches come from a can, they were put there by a man!) The peach aroma and stickiness amplified the car ride.

Now, not to get too philosophical but I had thought about the idea of everything as an extension of oneself and how the peach became one with me, as I became one with the peach. We were conjoined in a sort of disgusting and cannibalistic means to an end. I didn’t merely use the peach as an end. I let it fulfill it’s life-long aspiration of satisfying one of us beautiful human beings. Some peaches will grow old and never have our splendid canines sink into them, but this one did. It can thoughtfully turn inward, become a rind, and do so with pride.

A few days later, I was with some friends and decided to wildly pull a peach out from my kitchen and explain to them the aforementioned story. However, before doing so, I sunk into the peach and let it drip down my arm. I looked at them very solemnly and said, “Become one with the peach.”

And these are the perks of giving the least amount of fucks in life – cheers to those who can!

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I laid in my bed at 5:00 a.m. and realized that I would only get 3 hours of sleep. It irked me that I had done this to myself. I had no way of escaping the fate except for, of course, calling out of work. But, that was only an illusory option. I felt my eyelids sinking, my body tingling and I began to drift. I began to drift into that realm of imagination and infinity. I began to fall asleep. Suddenly, I was in a car about to crash and whoosh! Hypnopompic hallucination jolted me back into reality; 5:03 a.m. I felt so rejuvenated. I thought I had slept the entire night. I checked my phone again; 5:03 a.m.

It made me think about how elusive time really is. I thought about how an hour at a shitty job feels like a year or how a decade can “fly by.” Cliches rushed to mind. Time flies by when you’re having fun! I thought of Lucretius’ concept of “tempus fugit.” I decided to write down my thoughts in a mass text message. So, without further ado:

I needed to stretch a second into a minute
into an hour into a day

into a week, a month, a year, a decade
into a millennium into 
infinity
just for a moment. A moment, a glimpse of the metaphysical.

A time when billions of thoughts (dreams) occur but no time
appropriately encapsulates the quantity of dreams we have…
because they happen in the moment. The moment being
the past, present, future all simultaneously occurring
because in the metaphysical every and anything happens.

And we can create the world just like our envisioned Gods,
but we don’t care about consciously doing so, we just care
about sensation… and reality.
And reality.

- n.v.

Advocating any and all
believed biblical benignity
conglomerates cataclysmic conformity;
daring deranged and dogmatic
evangelicals to extrapolate exorcism
for their feared Father.

Gleefully grasping the grandeur
holism of Heavenly hopes
invigorates irate and irreconcilable
jabbering of jibberish jeers.

Knowledge is kindly kindling,
lingering and lofting in liberalists’
mere mentality, mastering
the notoriously nimble nihilism of
the “omnipotent” opposition or otherwise
playfully poking pedantic
quintessences of quirks, quickly
and rather rigorously reforming
simple and shameful “sinners.”

Treacherously, truth tantalizes and
usually unequivocally unties
vivacious valleys of vacuous
wishes which wistfully
xerox xeric Xanax
yanking youthful “yesterdays”
and zealously zapping zoilism.

- n.v.

So, one day I was talking to my brother and thinking about how shitty religion is. I wanted to write a poem that was an A-Z alliteration denouncing it. I sat down and wrote this. T-Z gets a little wonky.

Ignorant Young’un: “So, you’re majoring in English and philosophy, what are you going to do with that?”
Padawan: “Save the fucking world? Duh.”

This is the typical route of conversation being an English and philosophy major. There are a bunch of spin-offs of this as well. Some are nastier than others but they all conclude in the condemnation of English and philosophy as useless majors.

It’s not a surprise. English has no intrinsic job-market appeal and neither does philosophy, of course, unless you want to be an English teacher or a philosophy professor. This is where the conversation usually gets to: Ignorant Young’un“I mean… do you want to be an English teacher?” They usually cannot conceive the idea that someone might want to teach philosophy, so this is the end of the conversation.

Today, however, I will retort Ignorant Young’un‘s claims about my majors and about all of the other English, philosophy, arts and humanities majors. First and foremost, Ignorant Young’un‘s view is narrow and basic. It’s as though by majoring in anything that the only thing you can then do with that degree must have the title of your major in the job description. This isn’t true. Aside from the countless journalistic jobs, the multitude of companies needing social media experts, the expansive amount of people needing documents to be edited by a keen eye and the endless amount of companies that need people that can organize large amounts of information, read them coherently, and then summarize them effectively there is even a more basic point.

And that’s what this entire post is about. Yesterday, I thought about my majors and what they mean to me. So, without further ado, if you take English and break it down into what it is all about you could generate a rather extensive list, but for the sake of the post I will say it’s about this: expressing your thoughts effectively. Philosophy, in this same vain, is about acquiring the ability to effectively think. Therefore, when you combine the two majors, the pursuit of a double major in English and philosophy is really about this: acquiring the ability to effectively think and then being able to express these effective thoughts, effectively.


Thus, I have a question for Ignorant Young’un – what else is this world about, than making your imagination tangible?

Finally, I just wanted to bring this in as a meter of analogy, we hear this nursery rhyme as kids:

“Sticks and stones will break my bones,
But words will never harm me.”

Words, while they say never harm them, are the largest source of hatred but also the largest source of love: because words are a transmission of message. Words may not break bones but words can shatter spirits. And shattering spirits is a way to control but also to liberate. I’m here for the latter.