thedouglas (thedouglas) wrote,

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religions, shmeligions...

so why is everyone so needy? why do we, as a species, so desperately cling to the idea that we are superior to someone else? why can't we just be content to 'be'?

does it really matter if you look across the table, street, yard, state, country, continent, ocean, or even galaxy and see someone/something that appears better than you? is it ever anything other than an illusion?

good, better, best
never let it rest
till your good is better
and your better's better best!

it was a nice idea as a kid, but what exactly does it mean? that we should all keep improving? sure. but it never really explains how we are supposed to measure these improvements. we are left to decide for ourselves, and that is the real quandry.

we humans suck at making decisions.

and don't give me any crap that 'you' are any different than anyone else. if 'you' are able to make decisions easily then you have bought into the delusion that what you think matters in the grand scheme, and that you have all the facts, and that you must be right because you made a decision.

well give a kewpie doll to the freckled kid with the cowlick and now scram, you bother me! and wipe that brown stuff off your nose. its been there so long its dried up and i have a sandwich here to eat.

look, its simple:
a human is insecure by nature.
we live in packs, but want to be independent.
we desperately crave reassurance-
       -that we are attractive (to someone/anyone)
       -that we are smart (and capable)
       -that we have value
       -that we are likeable
       -etc. you know what i am talking about.

but that desire can get out of whack when we obsess about those things. when we NEED to be attractive, intelligent, likeable, organized, talented, etc. and we are still without an internal measuring stick to tell us how we are doing. all we can do is compare ourselves to others. others who are different, with different strengths and weaknesses. who, while appearing to be the same, are actually quite different.

and the one big problem is

now, dont get me wrong. there are times where competition can drive someone to improve themselves, and it can be fun to compete. but its become the central driving force of mankind. everything, and i mean everything, is judged by competition.

i grew up in buffalo... anyone follow that little game called the superbowl? how many times did buffalo lose the superbowl- meaning they were the second best team in the NFL?  and yet they lost the game... which made them losers. how does that work? i dont follow sports,  and i was in cleveland at the time, where i heard all about how lame the bills were. the cleveland fans did not appreciate my pointing out that the bills had a better record than the browns.

now lets look at the facts about sports... players, fans, and owners:
-the average fan either "used " to play or "dreamed" of playing but now can only watch other people and imagine themselves in the thick of the game,
-the average player has spent more time developing his physique, reflexes, and game-rage than his intellect or interpersonal skills,
-the average owner cares little for the game, the players, or the fans, and only for the profit margin of the team (and every tiny aspect of that business venture.)

now, calm down, smokey. none of these are meant as insults, they are pretty much just the facts. maybe you know a guy named steve who breaks these little rules, but the majority holds pretty solid.

let me ask you this: why does anyone care? we've been told over and over again that its the most exciting thing on television. we see minor celebrities and players (past their prime) explaining how deep and intense and complicated the on-field decisions are-- comparing them to Caesar's little run-in with the Gauls. they all have a 3-d view of a 2-d game. there is very little depth perception afforded on the playing field, and only the time to blink to make a snap decision as to running or throwing and to whom.

football's a nice way to burn off thanksgiving calories in the front lawn. but the game has grown into a mockery of itself and the love of "play". what was a thrill to those young boys has become a political pecking order to earn more than any other person.

an ex-fiancee (there has only been one, so shush) tried to convince me that professional sportsmen played for the love of the game, not the money and fame and that they were actually much smarter than we think they are... yada yada. i countered that if any of them were truly smart they would have figured out a way to get a BA in Football, so that the million annual 'scholarships' actually weren't actually misnomers.

so, yet again, we all get convinced that the profits of a minority are worth the efforts and passions of the vast majority. we believe this because we are told exactly that. we spend money to cheer for a team to win because we think that will make us better people, because we backed the winning team. however, the team is trying to win because it will increase their salaries. slight difference, yes, but enough to throw the bets off on all sides.

the bottom line is who wins, not who plays well, not who improves. only who takes home the trophies and rings.

bill o'reilly challenged david letterman in an interview (their second, heated debate) -- for a transcript: (
O'Reilly: ... Do you want the Untied States to win in Iraq?

Letterman: First of all, I don't -

O'Reilly: It's an easy question, If you don't want the United States to win -

Letterman: It's not easy for me because I'm thoughtful.

throughout the interview, O'Reilly doesn't contest the fact that its about oil, that innocent people are dead, that the president went in with erroneous "intelligence", or that the policies were inadequate. all he cares about is if the US will win.

WE always have to beat THEM, no matter who THEM is ('they are' for grammarians). keep that in mind.

I quit little league baseball because Mr. C. would yell at his players if they made mistakes that cost them runs or, god forbid, the game. i had more important things to think about... like if Cheryl L. liked me and would let me kiss her at the next birthday party. and he wasnt even my coach (Mr C, not Cheryl).

Fundamentalist Islamists are no worse than Fundamentalist Christians. They are rabid in their views that 'they are chosen by god* to fix the world. their rules are the only ones that count.' that accounts for about 10% of the world's population (don't ask me for statistics... i am an artist.) the other 80% of us would rather sit down to a great pot luck dinner of kebabs, pizza, sushi, samosas, and falafel. (with fava beans and a nice chianti.)

bottom line is:

WE don't care about winning a war.

WE don't care about beating THEM.

WE want to be safe and live next door to THEM.

WE want our kids to play nice with THEM.

THEY want the same things and WE do.

Its the 'OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAIN' people that keep screwing this all up.

Hussein, Hitler, Kim Jung, Castro, Stalin, Khaddafi, the Bushes (the shrewd one and the dumb one) and even the Pope (sorry mom) all have agendas for making THEMSELVES and their posses more powerful.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs dont do the dirty work.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs dont die on the battlefield.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs don't honor the embargos
(cigar, anyone?)

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs don't get laid off without huge severance packages.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs never lose their health care.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs even meet with enemy OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs all the time to plan their strategies on how to fight each other.

WE sacrifice, die, pay, hurt, cry, pray, work, atone, grieve, lament, bicker, and try to find some solace in stupid things like Tom Cruise movies, Britney Spears' underwear status, and Dennis Rodman's court stats because those things are the grass in the pasture that we have in front of us.

WE, the sheep, eat grass so we don't have to look at the ranchers who profit from the mutton.

It is time we look up at what we have become and take some control back.

*ps I put god as lower-case, because i have yet to be compelled to see it as much more than a concept, a belief. and those are objects, not entities. if you believe differently, i respect that. picture it, in your own mind, as capitalized.
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