My Napoleon Dynamite Moment: The Day I Rapped My Election Speech

May 30, 2012 § 1 Comment

I have never been a trendsetter.  Unless you believe that the current hipster trend of wearing cheap, out-of-style, $5 shirts and $15 jeans from a discount store descends from my back-to-school shopping in 1997.  Which it probably does not.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have ideas or that I don’t want to be the guy that started that thing.  Could I be a meme-setter?  Could I possibly bring some extra words or phrases into your lexicon and become a somebody on the internet after being a nobody in high school?

Okay, maybe I wasn’t a nobody.  I had my Napoleon Dynamite moment.  (Years before N.D. came out in theaters.)

It was 1999 and student elections were coming up as I was headed into my junior year.  It was a Monday and as a person that had zero interest in politics or my school, I was surprised when I saw that the “Vote for Me!” posters were already up.  The usual suspects of class president hopefuls and over-achievers were running for student body, and normally this wouldn’t upset me, but there was something different about it on this Monday.  Something that didn’t sit right with me.

I had noticed the candidates for Junior Class Vice President: Girl on the basketball team, girl on the basketball team, girl on the basketball team.  That’s the my most basic description of the three people running for Junior VP.

I don’t have anything against girls.  I watch it on HBO every Sunday.  I also don’t have any problems with girls in politics.  I would have voted for Hilary.  And I don’t have any problem with girls that play basketball.  Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird make me swoon.

What I had a problem with then and what I have a problem with now is lack of choices.  These three girls were best friends, so it didn’t matter who you voted for, you were getting the same thing.  There are no Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in student elections.  It’s Susie versus Bill or Lucy versus Laura or whatever.  It’s that kid in AP English versus that kid that is also in AP English.

And I mean hell, we were talking about the vice presidential nomination of the junior class in my high school, not an actual official or even a person with real power.  But it bothered me… a lot.

The deadline to run for student body had already passed but I decided to go to the Vice Principal anyway.  Her and I had a close relationship because of the amount of hours I had spent in her office, once becoming her T.A. after I had been kicked out of band class.  The kids currently running for office: Overachievers.  The kid that got kicked out of band class: Clear underachiever.

I just walked into her office and said bluntly: “I know the deadline is passed, but I want to run for Junior class vice president.”

I don’t think I had quite finished my sentence before she smiled and emphatically said “Yes! Go for it!” and deadlines be damned, I was running for V.P.  The underachiever wanted to actually achieve something, even though all I really wanted to do was give the voters a different choice and not some vanilla election that was like trying to decide on painting your walls “egg shell white” or “cloud white.”

I would give the voters an option to choose “that brownish egg.”  (This analogy would work a lot better if I was Indian or black but you get the point.)

I immediately put up posters next to my opponents posters that pointed out the differences between us, or at least ridiculed their posters because that was just my style.  My point was to make you laugh, not to necessarily make you think.

One of my opponents posters read “Sky Is the Limit with Sherry!”

I put my poster directly to the right of hers:

“NO LIMITS WITH KENNY!”  (Which also capitalized on the height of Master P’s popularity at the time.)

Another poster read: “To Infinity and Beyond with Stephanie!” and a picture of Buzz Lightyear.

Again, right next to that poster I pasted a picture of Buzz’s nemesis/buddy Woody and wrote “Get a Woody with Kenny!”

Because of the fact that I was a kid who in high school had seen plenty of detention, refused to do homework, did not care about my grades, thought it was a waste of time, had been suspended for a week once, and had shown very little respect to teachers, I was getting away with murder.  I was finally showing an interest in school and after years of teachers being upset with me because they thought I was smart but wasted it on being disruptive and lazy, they were just happy that I was doing something positive.

In reality I did not care about the school, I just thought that the election was unfair and I hate shit that isn’t fair.

(In retrospect, I do regret my actions towards teachers and being disruptive in class.  Sure, some of my teachers were dicks, but I was also being a dick and it’s not a good excuse that just because I was a rebellious teenager that I had a right to be a dick or disrupt other people in the class because I wanted to get some laughs.  I would amuse maybe 25% of the class and that’s all I paid attention to, but in reality I was just annoying a large percentage of my classmates and knowing now what teachers got paid, I would have been nicer.)

Friday came and it was time to do speeches and I hadn’t prepared one.  I didn’t prepare because I had a card up my sleeve.  You could stand up there and say whatever you want about vending machines and prom, but none of that really matters.  It’s all bullshit.  Nobody really cares about what you can promise, it’s all about whether or not you can have them leaving that assembly talking about you.

I was going to make sure of that.

I hadn’t prepared a speech because I have a hobby known as flowing.  I like words, I like poetry, I like rhyming, and I like to rap.  I like the challenge of making up rhyming words and phrases as you go and trying to make something that sounds appealing, funny, and true.  I am not good but I am also not horrible.  At the time, I was probably pretty bad, but all I needed was a few good lines.  A few good lines and I felt that I was set.

I only remember the first:

“Vote for me, as your V.P.”

I went on from there and while it probably wasn’t perfect, people were shocked.  They didn’t expect this out of me and they were clapping along with the rhythm, cheering, and laughing.  The other candidates had gone up there and said some bullshit about what they were going to do for the class and I went up there and did a rap.

That’s all I did.  A rap.  It was pointless, it told them nothing, and I was the only kid in that entire school that ran for student body that had absolutely no business there.  The other kids were straight-A students.  They did extracurricular activities.  Their teachers loved them.  They were the perfect students.  I stood out like a sore thumb and all I did was go up there and rap about elections and told them nothing about why I would actually be a good choice as the vice president.

I was later told by one of the moms that counted the ballots that the results weren’t even close.  I had won by a landslide.

That was my Napoleon Dynamite moment.

I stood true to my word when I had started the election, on that Monday when I had walked into school and saw the lack of variety in our choices for junior class vice president.  I didn’t care about the school and I didn’t care about making any changes.  All I wanted to do was give the people some choices and maybe surprise my classmates.  I had done that.  By the middle of my junior year, the president (Susie Bundy, I am naming you by name) had iced me out and basically only contacted one of the girls that had lost the election when they were talking about political stuff… but I had already won what I wanted to win, so I didn’t care.

(Though I am naming her by name because that’s a bitchy thing to do.)

Why do I tell you this story?  Because I can surprise you.  Anyone can surprise you.  It’s hard to tell what’s hidden underneath that white or brownish egg shell until you peel back the layers and something had irked me on that Monday that caused me to peel back my own shell and show people what I can do.

Never be afraid to show people what you can do or to challenge something that you don’t believe in.  It might just be one of those defining moments in your life that’s so important you have to write about it on your blog 13 years later.

30 Days Without Drinking

May 28, 2012 § 9 Comments

It’s been an interesting last couple of weeks for me.  It almost feels like I’m growing up. BOOO!!!!  I believe that it was Peter Pan that said, “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys ‘R Us Kid.  I’m a real boy.  To infinity and beyond!”  I might be getting my quotes mixed up, but the point is that as I approach thirty, I feel less dirty.

Boobies, butts, poop, fart.  There, that feels better.

But I want to start getting some shit done in my life.  For all I know, I might have already lived over half of my life and I’m not doing what I want to do for a living, I don’t have any prospects for a wife and family, and I am wasting most of my weekends on “booze and fun.”

It’s time to stop wasting and the first step in that direction is going to be cutting out alcohol for the next thirty days.

No beer, no gin, no whiskey or wine

No tequila, no IPAs, no shots or moonshine.

I honestly don’t think that it’s going to be hard to do, but I really don’t know what’s going to happen.  Ever since I was 21, the only time that I went a significant period of time without drinking was when I was in a relationship for two years.  I hardly ever drank then, and basically never got drunk.  It wasn’t hard to do.

This time I am not going to have a girl to keep me busy, I’m going to have to be productive in my time of no longer drinking and I think it’s time to write the zombie screenplay that I’ve been planning for the last few weeks.  My roommate and my two other best friends in California have also said that they will go without drinking for the next month.  It should be an interesting experience for all of us because that’s how we’ve spent pretty much every weekend of the last three years.

But for the next month, we are sober.

I imagine that after thirty days I will physically feel better, I’ll be a little lighter in the waste, I’ll save hundreds of dollars and I won’t felt like I’ve wasted time on fun when I should be getting my shit done and start living the life that I’ve always wanted to live; As a writer, a creator, and as an example and inspiration to the people that care about me.

I’m not going to dwell on my twenty’s and say that they “were a waste” because I have really enjoyed this period in my life, but it’s time to move onto the next phase.  Even after the thirty days, I might have a few drinks but I won’t be blacking out or getting wasted.

In fact, I won’t be “wasting” anything anymore.

Update On The Thus-Far-Massive-Fail Of Sending 100s of OkCupid Messages

May 26, 2012 § 29 Comments

So I have lost track to this second, but I’ve probably sent 300 messages on OkCupid since Thursday and how many responses have I gotten?

Just the one, not including from my internet friend Jen Friel.

I have emailed OkCupid to ask them what the deal is.  This can’t possibly be just because I am a massive failure, loser, ugly, disgusting, pervert.  Sure, I am all of those things, but if you send out 300 blind squirrels in a patch with 5 nuts, somewhere along the line those nuts are going to get picked up.

I’m saving each and everyone one of my outgoing messages.  I want to share them all but for right now, I’m going to share 10 that gave me a laugh:

(Understand that I am not asking for your judgment on these outgoing messages.  Sometimes I was just having fun.  If the message comes off as “low self-esteem” or “that won’t get a response,” please understand that I realize that.  But I sent out 300 messages, so not all of them are winners.  That’s why these are some of my favorites.  And STILL you’d think a few of them would warrant a WTF? response)

  • You say you’re 33, so it’s not fair for you to only post pictures from when you were in your early 20s.
  • Someone as cute as you should find a guy to date that isn’t ugly but isn’t so good looking that other girls will constantly be flirting with him. Hi, I’m Kenny!

(This next girl seemed to be too cool for school and said she liked the movie Cannibal Holocaust, which is a gory movie from the 70s in which they actually kill a few animals.)

  • You seem really cool and I don’t even know how to ride a motorcycle. But I have tried mairjuana 561 times and I’m still undecided. I once ate a bug in science class for $20. Not like a living bug, but a giant grasshopper that we were supposed to dissect. Okay, I didn’t eat it. I put it in my mouth for 10 seconds. I wasn’t grossed out by the turtle scene in Cannibal Holocaust. I was just fascinated. Like, “Oh, that’s what happens when you remove a turtle shell!” I would like to see that happen to the Teenage Mutange Ninja Turtles. Not because I don’t like them, but just because they’re mutants, do they look the same as a regular turtle under their shells? Wow, I am either bored or crazy.
  • You’re so cute, but I would never go to an art show.
  • I really want to date a black girl but I think that I am too white bread. It’s like I rap, but I soooo do a white rap. I feel like I need an entry-level black girl and you’re so sexy and sophisticated, that you’re like the black girl that Ross dated on Friends.

(This next girl claimed she didn’t know how short she actually was)

  • You’ve never gotten measured at the doctor or something? You’re copping out because of how often you get the question. You know how short you are.
  • You’re so damn cute, but at the first moment that you asked me if I wanted to go climb a mountain, I would decline and play video games.
  • You look like you could be the star of a new drama on NBC about a defense attorney that doesn’t take shit from her clients.
  • I’ve just seen you on here so many times that I’m finally saying hi. The only reason I didn’t say hi before is because I don’t think that an Asian girl would ever go out with me. I’d love to, but I just haven’t found any asian igrls that seem to be even semi-interested in me, but I love Asian movies.

(This next girl had the screenname pantsforcats)

  • Boooo. Pants. For. Dogs. Vote NO on Prop 23 (Proposition to get cats pants before dogs.)
  • I would probably never go down to Redondo Beach, but you’re so cute. You look like a girl that would have been cast in a major motion picture like Jurassic Park, Jumanji, or My Girl because you have such a sweet look about you.

So anyway, there’s just a few samples.  These aren’t necessarily all messages that I expected to get a response.  I had a TON of sincere messages where I was just trying to say Hi, pull something out of their profile to show that I wasn’t just doing a copy/paste job, and girls that I really thought might hit it off with me.  These ones just gave me a little laugh because I said I had a mission to send a lot of messages.

And so far the response has been ZERO.  I also notice that I tell girls that they’re “Cute” a lot.  Is this a turn off?  As a girl, what word would you like to hear?  “Beautiful”?  “Hot”?  “Pretty”?  “Sexy”?  None?  In my opinion, everyone likes a nice compliment.  I certainly get slightly more interested if a girl says that I’m handsome or cute but probably only because it happens so rarely.

I have been using Locals all week and gotten only one response from there and this chick was weird/insane and we haven’t met.  She said something about eating out of a dumpster.

I need your help.  How can I be less of a loser?  (I already know what you’re gonna say Bob Johnston)

Do I come off as a big jerk?  I laid out my heart in this post, so go easy.  300 messages and one response… I’m very sensitive right now.

 

The Online Dating Scam: Is OkCupid a Designed, Free Gateway Drug into Match.com?

May 25, 2012 § 12 Comments

Why pay for online dating, right?  There are plenty of free sites out there that will allow you to browse thousands of profiles, photos, body types, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and so forth when looking for a prospective date, mate, or a hookup for late.

OkCupid and Plenty of Fish are the major free dating sites and a few years ago I had friends raving about how awesome a site like OkCupid was, providing much of the same (if not more, depending on what you’re looking for) as Match.com except that you didn’t have to pay a single cent.  Just setup a profile like you would for match, eHarmony, or even Facebook, and you’re ready to go.

Answer questions at your leisure and OkCupid will use their special algorithms to hook you up with the people that they believe are best suited for you.  Makes sense right?  And as an old lady once said in one of my favorite infomercial lines of all-time “It’s free?  It’s gotta be good!”

(Just how does something being free make it good?  Wouldn’t the opposite be true?)

A site like OkCupid might be free, but of course it makes money in ways beyond just membership fees.  By having millions of members and millions of page views, there are sidebar ads and probably other non-intrusive ads like the ones that we will never notice in a million years.  But if you’re interested in losing the ads and gaining a few extra “cool” features, you can upgrade your account to “A-List” for just $9.99 a month.  Still far cheaper than Match.com, which can run you about $40 for a single month or $90 for three months.  (Similar to eHarmony.)

But is OkCupid designed to work or is it inherently setup for failure, something that is a boon and a benefit to the owner of OkCupid:

Match.com

Just in cased you missed in the news last February, Match.com bought OkCupid for a cool $50 million.  The dating site mega-conglomerate recognized that OkCupid was attracting a younger generation.  The generation that might not be ready to settle down.  The generation that simply isn’t ready to pay $40/month to find a soulmate because “Hey, I’m only 26 years old!”

Which brings me to my next point.  I can’t prove as of this sentence that OkCupid is actually setup for failure so that people will graduate to Match.com, but there is an inherent flaw with any free dating site: it’s free.

Just because something is free, doesn’t mean it’s “gotta be good.”  In fact, the people that use OkCupid are being cheap and if you take finding a soulmate seriously, isn’t $40 a month or $25/month for six months well worth it?  The people that sign up for OkCupid often say that they “just signed up for the quizzes” or “I don’t take this too seriously” and they seem to be telling the truth.

The average OkCupid user simply might not be ready to find anything more than a fling or a casual boyfriend/girlfriend, which is fine but I can’t help but feel dirty for the fact that the “alternative to the evil empire known as Match.com” is actually in bed with Match.com.  

Now there’s the part where we really get down to the business of “Is this actually, technically set up for failure?”

Yesterday I set off on a mission and I am in the middle of the mission as we speak: Send a message to every girl on OkCupid, or at least as many as I can until I get bored.  Don’t make the message creepy, or long, or generic, not a single copy/paste job, unique to the girl, pull something specific out of her profile, make it funny, etc.

The basic idea was that I was just going to hit up as many girls as possible and see what happened.  24 hours into the experiment and I can honestly say that From Justin to Kelly was a smaller failure than this.

Over 200 messages and I have gotten two replies.  Two.  And one of those replies was from my friend Jen Friel, who I had hit up to remind her of the time that I messaged her on OkCupid.

The 200 messages is a rough estimate right now (I have saved every single sent message from the last day in a Word doc and I can’t WAIT to share some of the highlights) but right now if you exclude Jen, I have sent 200 messages and gotten ONE reply.  Sure, there’s still time left, but for the record I am searching for girls listed as “Online Now.”

I’m not the most attractive guy in the world, but I am confident in my appearance.  I’m tall which is almost always a plus.  My profile (I think) shows confidence, will power, drive, determination, goals, humor, and I’d give it at least a 5 or a 6.  And I’m just being honest, it’s not for everyone.  But just pure chance or statistics should tell you that if you send 200 messages, you’ll get more than 1 reply.  Right?!

I want to know what’s going on.  Maybe it really is just me, but so far I have been floored by the early results of this experiment and the fact that OkCupid is owned by Match.com, a website that eventually wants you to join both sites (it’s advertised on the front page of OkCupid that you’d do even better if you joined both sites) and make the full transition over to the pay-site, gives me pause.

There’s something wrong with a girl getting 40 messages a day and a guy having to fight his way through it all like the one little sperm that could.

It’s the kind of frustration that would make a guy want to pay money for a site that might offer a higher success rate.  A site with girls that are probably looking to be more serious.  A site that has quality girls that aren’t just looking for the guy with the biggest hipster beard but also has a job and drive and ambition…  hmmm… where could a guy go for something like that?

Yup… OkCupid is a dating gateway drug.

And I call bullshit.

As of yet, Plenty of Fish appears to be owned by Plenty of Fish Media, so maybe that’s the lateral move I should make rather than buy into Match.com’s obvious ploy for me to sign up for their expensive website since their free website sucks ass.

I’M CALLING YOU OUT OKCUPID AND MATCH.COM! ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!

OKCupid: I’m Going to Send Hundreds of Honest Messages

May 24, 2012 § 5 Comments

HOLY SHIT I JUST HAD THIS AMAZING REVELATION!!!!

So I was just browsing around OkCupid right now, I put up some new pictures and upgraded my profile and was looking at the chicks that were online right now.  I’m realizing “Fuck it, Im going to send this girl a message even though I don’t really care and she probably won’t respond anyway.”

And then I did it again.

And again.  And again.  And again.

Sometimes it was sweet, sometimes it was just honest.  Not like, “You’re too ugly.” but as an example this is what I just said:

“You’re really cute but I would never go to an art show.”

THAT’S IT!

Holy shit I feel like my eyes just opened up for the first time.  Why the hell not?  Maybe give a girl a laugh.  Maybe give a girl a pick-me-up that she needed at just that moment.  I don’t send sleazy messages and so I don’t know if a girl is really flattered by “dam gurl, i wanna peak dem panty drawz, ya know? lik dik?”

But honest compliments or just the honest truth.  I am now realizing that I have nothing to lose.  I promise not to hurt anyone.  I promise not to be a jerk.  I’m a nice guy, but this is an experiment and I’m rolling with it full-on, hardcore.

 

RESULTS SHOW COMING!! THIS IS AWESOME!

This Season on The Fatchelor

May 24, 2012 § 8 Comments

The Fatchelor: Kenny

Stats: Kenny is a tall one at 6’6″, 230 lbs

Occupation: Fixes computers at a major shipping corporation by day, writes about sports, sex, dating, movies, writing and whatever else he wants to write about at night… also sometimes at day. Not a “writer in Hollywood” like every other person, I get paid for writing, just not very much yet.

Strengths: Good sense of humor, good at mingling with strangers, not afraid to go to a movie or an event by myself and make friends, personable, smart, creative, has seen every episode of almost any show thats worth watching, and while I wouldn’t say that my movie quoting ability is “endless” I would say that it’s like saying that the Grand Canyon isn’t technically endless.
I smell good, I’m tall, and I’ll fight anyone in the honor of my family, friends, and loved ones that deserves a fight even though I have only been in one fight in my life and I lost. I work hard at my passion and my passion is writing. Confidence was always an issue in my life but when I knew that being a writer was what I am, I gained a supreme amount of confidence in my writing. For example: I think that I’m going to travel to Thailand some day but I KNOW that I will be a well-known professional writer and my main goal is to create my own television show.

Also, owns the book 269 Amazing Sex Tips and Tricks.  So far I’m stuck on #1: Find the vagina.

I also sing and love karaoke!

Weaknesses: I clean my room even though I know that I should just pick up after myself in the first place. When I was at a restaurant one time meeting my (now ex) girlfriends friends for the first time, I overheard one of the dudes say “He’s kind of a weird-looking kid,” I told her what he said and she didn’t believe me and it became a huge dramatic ordeal. All of a sudden I am pissed at her and not the guy that called me weird looking, though he can still go fuck himself. What’s the weakness? Yeah, I might be a bit weird-looking and also, I turn into the hulk if someone questions my ability to be good, to be normal, and especially when they don’t believe me because I’m very honest and terrible at lying. I don’t even try to lie anymore because I’m so bad at it. Sometimes I get lazy and put some weight back on but I’ll never be obese again. I smoke but I’m going to quit this year. I drink but I don’t “get nuts” anymore like I did in college. I’m probably a sex addict or something.

Sexy Face

The Fatchellorettes:

Comic Book Girl: Voluptous, she was not typically the kind of girl I go for “lookwise” but she seemed cool, smart and nerdy. She was only 21 but acted much older. We laughed about comic books and because she works at a comic book store, she knew a lot more about that area of media than I did and I was impressed, but she lived a bit too far away. Even still, I gave her a rose and we went on a second date. On the second date, we had a few beers, debated about some serious topics like womens rights because she is a feminist and I said that was cool and that I liked a strong woman. She said other feminists disagreed with her because she liked to show off her cleavage (she had big boobs) and like to dress that way, and who had the right to tell her not to? I thought things went pretty well and I walked her to her car where we made out for approximately 2-4 minutes and we agreed to go out again.

I texted her once, maybe twice. Never heard from Comic Book Girl Again.

Dr. Sexy: She was three years older than me and in her residency of being an ER surgeon. She literally would see people die (lots of people) right before we’d see each other. We met at a nice restaurant near her place and drank some beers, talked about what it was like to be a doctor. She was really hot. I was more intimidated with this girl than any girl I’ve ever gone out with before. I thought that maybe she made a mistake because she’s like an 8 or a 9 plus she’s a doctor and I don’t make very much money and on a good night I’m a hard 6. I gave her a rose and she actually accepted. She was impressed that I was a writer and that I am a voracious learner, always trying to be better and to be smarter.

The second date we went to a place, Rush Street, that was closer to me. We talked again, continued to bullshit. She was cool. She wasn’t at all what I expected a doctor to be like. She was smart but kind of immature and real. I went to her car and we made out for 5 minutes and I gave her a second rose and she accepted. On the third date I took some wine over to her place. This is usually the sign that I’m about to put on a hospital gown and get examined by the Dr. Sexy. We watch a movie and immediately it kind of seems like she’s not having a good time. Things don’t click anymore. We make out for a little while. I feel up a doctor and she has big boobs, which I wasn’t expecting. Thought we might get to the bedroom but no luck.

I give her a third rose, which she seemed to accept. A few days later she says that we aren’t compatible or something. No more Dr. Sexy.

Boring Girl: How quickly can I put this? This chick was 39 or something and a casting director. We met and I didn’t give her a rose. But she contacted me again and I went over to her place to play Scene It. She invited me over. Seemed obvious enough. I went in for the kiss and she rejected me. Needless to say, I don’t talk to her anymore.

The Speed Dater: This story is 100% real. A girl hits me up on OKLocals. She looks cute but can’t meet right away. She’s very confusing. Has two phone numbers that she’s contacting me with. I hear nothing from her (this is Sunday by the way) for eight hours until I wake up the next day. She called me twice at 4 AM. I thought, what the hell? She explains a whole lot of drama to me about how she’s been abused, used, forced to do a porno, won a blowjob contest, has no money, living on some random dudes couch, doing webcam shows…. and she wants to smoke speed in my room.

Can I just say this right now? THIS IS MY LIFE IN DATING IN 2012!!!

I wish that were a joke.

On the bright side, the Fatchelor has gained a lot of experience, a lot of laughs, and has waded through a bunch of the bad ones or the ones that weren’t meant to be.  I mean, odds say that it’s gotta happen sometime right?  At least I’m trying again.  Don’t take this as a sign that I’m depressed or worried about it, but just wanted to update you on the current situation and share my embarrassments with someone.

Pictures of Me

May 23, 2012 § 2 Comments

I found this book.  It was given to me by my ex.  Not a good sign?  Whatever.  Now I’m going to read it, make fun of it, and probably learn 1 thing (just where the heck IS that vagina?!?!)

 

Here I am with the book:

Yup.  That’s me.

 

This should get interesting.

Do Something! Even a Lazy Person Can Donate to Charity

May 22, 2012 § 2 Comments

I have been very productive today.  Got very organized at work, which is something I never do, and even asked to stay later so that I could continue on this roll.  But I couldn’t stay, I had to go, but I decided to skip the gym because I realized I could keep this roll going at home.

And so I did.

Mission 1: Find out how much clothes I don’t need.  Seriously, I feel like I have two hoodies, four shirts, two jeans, one pair of shorts, and the sock&underwear deal.  (Boxers)

Well, any socks or boxers I didn’t like went into the trash.  Those aren’t recyclable in anything other than compost, which they’re about 50% the way there anyway.  But beyond having those couple of jackets, shirts, and pants, and not including my work clothes, I sure had a whole lot of other bullshit!

I took it all out on a pile and I started to sort through it.  Most of these clothes hadn’t adorned my body in years and if they had, it almost done out of irony or Halloween.  Yet, I still held onto them needlessly.  It was hard to get rid of some of the items.  Clothes with memories.  Clothes that were barely worn.  Clothes that weren’t cheap.

But I had no more need for them.  Who would have a need for this?

Well, I am far too lazy to drop these off at a Goodwill.  Does that make me a piece of shit?  No, I don’t think so, because I am lucky enough to live around plenty of bums.  None of the bums in my neighborhood stick around for very long.  They don’t sleep here, they just come for our bottles, cans, and other trinkets that may be of worth.

We know a few of them.  Not by conversation, but by familiarity in their face.  My favorite is “Doug Wilson: Hobo Attorney” (the name we gave him) because he was clearly a bum but he had on a trenchcoat and was carrying a bunch of papers.  We wondered, is this a lawyer that’s having a bad day or is this a bum that’s going to study for the bar?

It haunted our dreams for months.

Well, tonight Doug Wilson: Hobo Attorney, or some other lucky schmuck, it going to come across this in the dumpster tonight:

I wanted to make it clearer on the 2nd bag that it says “X MARKS THE SPOT TO WARMTH/STYLE!”

These clothes are no joke.  Just because I don’t wear them anymore, these are solid clothes.  Plenty of warm sweaters, hoodies, jackets, jeans, shirts, and even a solid pair of shoes.

I simply don’t need that much warm clothes in Los Angeles and I hated the idea of them continually going to waste.  Somewhere out there, a bum should sleep better tonight because of that haul.  We see them all the time but I can tell you that tomorrow I will NOT see those bags of solid, warm, sometimes stylish clothes.  It will make my heart turn a little less cold every time I see Doug Wilson: Hobo Attorney walking down the street with his papers, his trenchcoat, and maybe my black shoes on his feet or a sweater under his coat.

Yes, I think that makes this all worth it.  Trust me, these clothes aren’t going to waste just because they aren’t going to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.  We know these people because we sometimes wait and hand them 60+ beer bottles from our weekend, all nicely organized, probably giving them the same amount of bottles in that one haul than they normally get looking through 5-6 bins.

Just remember that the next time you see homeless person, a bum, a hobo, whatever you call them, remember that they’re still people.  These are just labels that they’re given.  We can’t ask why it happened, how it happened, or what they’re going to do about it.  All that matters is that I have and they don’t have.  Worried that you give a bum a dollar and he’s going to spend it on booze?

BITCH, YOU WERE GOING TO SPEND THAT MONEY ON BOOZE TOO!  AND PROBABLY A LOT OF BOOZE!

No matter what you can do to help… help.  You can even be lazy like me and still make a difference.

 

How To Use The Doo Wop Woo To Win The Girl Of Your Dreams

May 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

There’s a whole new fad sweepin’ Kenneth Nation and it’s called Doo Wop Woo!  Basically, the crazy boys and girls of America are starting to serenade total strangers with Doo Wop songs that’ll blow their minds!

Far less invasive and over-used as a flash dance, a Doo Wop Woo simply contains 1-6 members, one of which has a saxophone, serenading a stranger in public with some of our favorite classics.  You don’t have to be Tom Cruise standing in a bar with men in uniform helping you woo a stranger in a bar in order to win a girl’s heart over.   You can just be a regular guy with a regular group of friends and dudes.

The Doo Wop Woo might just be the perfect way to get the girl of your dreams into your heart.  Or perhaps, immediately on the phone with 911.  Here’s just one example of The Doo Wop Woo.

Imagine….

A young girl is walking home from advanced biology at her University and soon realizes that the sun is no longer giving any reflection to light the streets, the trees, and the darkness beneath the trees.  Around every corner it seems to get even darker, as the campus lights have been need for repair all semester.

She clenches her books close to her chest and adjusts her eyeglasses and looks up and sees a dark figure.  He’s an African-American man, our heroine knew very little about the men her father called “the blackies.”  She was not afraid, nor was she startled.  For she was always a curious girl and if anything, this chance meeting on a dark street, late at night, got her a little bit excited.  Wondering what she might learn about the boys she was told never to talk to.

“Excuse me.  Are you lost?” she asked.

Then man didn’t say anything.  It was still very silent.  She could her heart beating so loud that she was sure that the mysterious man could hear it beating just the same.  She could only muster out an “Umm” when she noticed two other black men approached on either side of the first man of mystery.

There were now three dark, and tall men standing before her.  Still too dark under their fedora hates to decide if they were handsome as well.

Now the girl could no longer felt excited.  The excitement she once felt quickly turned to adrenaline and fear.  She realized her situation; all alone, midnight, empty campus, and three black men now basically have her surrounded.  What were their intentions?  Why are you here?  She then realized that she was only thinking the questions that she should be asking out loud.

“Umm… can I help you with something?  Why are you here?”

The mysterious man in the middle took one step closer and removed his hat, the moonlight hit his face and he was not scaring-looking at all.  He smiled, genuinely.  The girl felt calmer instantly, he had piercing blue eyes and a great big smile that made you feel you were right at home.

“Why are we where, child?” he finally spoke.

“Here.  In the middle of the street, way past dark, are you students hear?  I just mean why are you out here in the middle of street at night.”

“Ahhh yes.  I think, this will help explain.  A 1, 2, 1,2,3,4″

In the still, of the night

I held you, held you tight

‘Cause I love, love you so

Promise I’ll never let you go

In the still of the night

(In the still of the night)”

Stunned, the girl doesn’t know what to think.  Did this group that once frighten her all of a sudden turn into a Doo Wop group.  And not only a Doo Wop group, but a good one singing one of her favorite songs?  They continued to sing the unforgettable words as they snapped their fingers and kept in perfect rhythm and beat.

This was real R&B, right here, standing in front of her, in the middle of the night on an empty campus street.  A serenade to her and her alone, from three men she had never met before.  Why is this happening?  At this point, why does it matter?  All she knows is that she is blushing, flattered, and flustered, and all in a good way.

Tonight, it was only her.

So before the light

Hold me again, with all of your might

In the still of the night

In the stilllll of the niiiiiiiiiigghhhhhtt

And as quickly as they came out of the darkness, they went back into it.  They weren’t asking for anything in return.  Their reward was the gift.  To just maybe make one girl’s day.

Or perhaps make it really awkward and scary.  Hard to say without trying!

Doo Wop Woo Details

Song: In the Still of the Night

Artist: The Five Satins

Requirements: 3-5 black men, perhaps a saxophonist.

Subject: Young girl walking by herself.  Keep it in a safe neighborhood though, for fear that she might call 911 immediately upon seeing the first black man.

Potential Accessories: A spotlight is always handy when Doo Wop Wooing at night.  Make sure its battery-powered, you may not find an outlet in the middle of the street or on a college campus.

Message: No matter where you are, I’ll be there to hold you and keep you company.  You’re never alone.

Success Factor: Depends on racial tendencies of the subject.  For high success, target an African-American female.  Though in that case she might laugh in your face and say “Y’all are trippin’!”

Creep Factor: Moderately high, considering that it’s at night and this woman appears to be being accosted.  However, if the lead vocals is a very attractive man, creep factor is low as always.

Overall Rating: This scenario of In the Still of the Night gets an 8/10 for Doo Wop Woo, based on it’s overall use of scene, great song choice, uncreepy message, and it’s hard to not love it because then you might be called a racist if the girl was scared at first and then simply did not enjoy it.  She’ll still say, “Oh yeah, loved it! Thanks!”

 

“Am I? Are You? Is This Real?” The Solipsism Paradox; A Key To Freedom?

May 21, 2012 § 5 Comments

There’s a feeling that you and I share.  It’s something that we’ve always felt but rarely discuss. There are two possible reasons why you and I both have thought about this simple concept and they are this:

1. Because our nature as human beings, our consciousness, at some point will probably ask the question “Does anybody else exist?” based on the inherent flaw (?) that we can not escape our minds and confirm whether or not anyone else has a consciousness, or;

2. Because you don’t exist.  You are nothing but a projection of my mind and if you are reading this, than I am nothing more than a projection of yours.  You have no way to confirm if I have actually written this or if you are creating each next word in this sentence.  You’ll never actually be able to know for sure.

That’s solipsism.

Am I wrong?  Have we not all considered whether or not the world around us is just an illusion?  That I created this or that you created this?  Is that not why we all walked out of The Matrix saying “Woah.  That was a science fiction movie that I could see being science non-fiction.”?

Well, not this version of The Matrix…

Maybe we want better answers to all of life’s problems or maybe we want to believe that there’s something more to life than this.  Or maybe we want to know how we can make it perfect.  After all, if the whole world is made up by me than why hasn’t it been better?  Why don’t I create a better place?  The world would literally be my oyster and yet I’ve wallowed for 29 years in a state of simple living and simple pleasures.  I’m not exactly Ryan Gosling or Mark Zuckerberg.  And even then, on a real level of solipsism being true, a person in control of his/her universe would shoot for something much higher than being a celebrity or a billionaire.

If I was in control, I could just live in infinite bliss where money didn’t matter.  Where sex didn’t matter.  Where nothing mattered and everything mattered, like a Tibetan monk that has found nirvana.

“I think, therefore I am.” – Descartes.

Stop.  Save draft.  Mark as “Only thing we can possibly confirm.”  Move on and make theories about everything else.  Everything.  Else.

How do I know that I have an actual beating heart inside of my chest?  How do I know that I even have a chest, or a body, or a friend, or a hobby, or a feeling, or a childhood?

How do I even know that anything that has happened to me up to this very second was real?  What if I was just at this moment jettisoned into this body, with these memories and these beliefs?  How can I be sure that this isn’t the first day of my life?  I have asked myself these questions many times in my life and I will probably never have an answer but imagine if you did.

Imagine if we could unlock the true power of the universe, if we simply knew that the universe wasn’t real and that it was all up to us.  What could we do then?  This philosophy wasn’t just touched on in The Matrix of course, it’s been dabbled with in a bunch of films:

Inception touched on the idea that within dreams, we can create our universe and for the main character, he was stuck with his wife for a very long time.  So much so that for his wife, reality could never be confirmed again.  I wonder, if solipsism is real, then what are dreams?  It’s almost like dreams would be our brains only chance to truly be free.

When we’re awake, we have to reason, but when we fall asleep and let the conscious part of our brain sleep, then the rest of the brain is allowed to be free and create a certain universe, whether we like it or not, depending on our own ability to control our dreams.

Sort of similar to Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy gets whisked away to another world and we tread a fine line between reality and dreams.  Of course, it’s not just dreams in which movies touch on this subject and it’s not always as cut and dry as being “the only one.”

In Being John Malkovich, characters can force themselves into the mind of Malkovich and actually perceive another person’s consciousness which almost seems to alleviate any concerns one might have about the possible existence of solipsism, but then again – John Cusack was just a mind inside of a mind, he didn’t switch existences with Malkovich.  Maybe like how Professor X in X-Men is able to feel the consciousness of every mutant on the planet.

I don’t necessarily see solipsism as an indication that I am the only one in the entire universe, or whatever this is, because I think it could still be a shared concept such as the one in The Matrix.  Or just leaving open the possibility that I don’t know or we don’t know.

What if our reality is a created reality, such as in The Truman Show?  Are you a reality show and does that make any of your “private moments” that much more embarrassing?  Are any of your friends real or are they Tyler Durden in Fight Club?  If you’re standing at the end of Vanilla Sky, are you jumping off of the building?

Film explicitly tackles solipsism and similar philosophies, theories, and concepts but as of yesterday I had never heard the word solipsism before and why not?  I’ve heard of a lot of other stupid things like Scientology, Heaven’s Gate, and Destiny’s Child, but nothing about solipsism.

Probably because a true believer would never bother to talk about it.  Solipsism exists only as a concept that we can think about within ourselves but to what end can you talk about it?  I’ve only been researching the belief for a short time and already have found that many people think that either solipsism is a stupid idea, that it’s strongest argument is simply that it can’t be disproved, or that even if it were true there would be no point to talk about it.

If I am the only one that exists in my universe, then why should I talk to you about it or anything else really?  You’re just a projection anyway.

The whole idea of me writing this article about solipsism almost instantly suggests that I don’t believe 100% in solipsism because it’s a 100% waste of time to tell “you” about solipsism when you’re only a figment of my imagination.  However, is solipsism any different than faith in a higher being or anything else that’s strongest argument is that “just like I can’t prove that it is, you can’t prove that it isn’t.”

In the article, “The Metaphysical Challenge of Solipsism,” there are several interesting key bits of information about the philosophy and why it’s both hated and considered worthless by many in the field:

Thomas Mautner defines it as “(1-metaphysics) the view that nothing exists except one’s own self and the contents of its consciousness; (2-epistemology) the view that nothing can be known except one’s own self and the contents of its consciousness.”(2)

Would it be so vain of me to believe that none of this is real and that my experiences are the only experiences?  And if it were, would it matter?  Of course not, because nothing matters.  Now this is interesting and I have a gut reaction to disagree:

The interesting feature of Solipsism is that there is no discernable difference between the Solipsist’s experiences of the world, and the anti-Solipsist’s experiences of the world….   But the Solipsist can draw upon Ockham’s Razor to argue that there is no discernable benefit to me, and no discernable difference to my current or future experiences, from positing anything in addition to the summation of my personal experiences. 

True but let’s not get too off-track and remember that if you were a true Solipsist, if you believed that none of this were real and that nobody could be hurt but you, how would you live your life?

Remembering that you are still governed by the laws of the world you have created, knowing that you still had to live by a moral code and you couldn’t just go around killing people because they aren’t real since you’ll still have to face laws and justice, could you still not take advantage of the absolute power you could have over yourself if you believed that it was all fake?  That we were living in the the Matrix.  That even though it might not change how and when you die, it will certainly change how you live.

Imagine that you are a true Solipsist.  Therefore, nothing bad that you ever do really matters.  None of your mistakes matter.  None of your embarrassment or shame matters.  You can choose to live how you want to live and in the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t matter.  Now, the problem is that you still have to navigate through life for as long as you live it and if you want certain things during your reign as the supreme God of your own existence, you still have to abide by the laws of nature and man.

Think of it like playing a video game.  As a character in The Sims, or Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft, or most any game, your world is created.  Mostly, someone else created it for you and you’re not in control of the rules but you do have free will.  You want to kill the bad guy at the end of the game but just because you know that it is a game does not change the fact that in order to win, you have to play by the rules.

Now imagine that your life is a RPG.  (Role Playing Game)  The universe is created and you had no power on how that universe was created but you find yourself smack dab in the middle of it as the main character.  You want to reach the end, have a successful journey, slay the bad guys, but you still have to play by the rules.  Don’t play by the rules and you won’t get what you want.  Take it for granted, and you may find yourself surrounded by 65 cops that want to kill you because you said “Fuck it, this isn’t real!”

It’s real.  It’s just your real.  What are you going to do with your real?

The part that may change the way you eat, change the way you live, and change the way you treat each other (as a Solipsist, I’m most proud of my creation of Tupac) is knowing that you can never really fail and if you ask for something and hear the word “No,” it doesn’t matter because they’re not real.

Would I go up to a beautiful girl on her wedding day that I had never met before and ask her to leave her fiance for me?  No.  But would a Solipsist?  Sure, why would it matter if you embarrassed yourself in front of 250 projections of your own conscious?

Once you fully detach from other’s realities and start to realize your own reality as the only reality, you’re somewhat free.  Not entirely free, of course.  To be entirely free, we’d need to find a way to unlock the key that allowed the universe to be created from my projections but unfortunately we may never have that.

Sadly, the principal theory of Solsism is that we are alone.  I am alone.  That none of this is real.  To crack a code like that, I’d basically have to be Neo.  I’d have to be the one guy that figures out how to unlock all of life’s mysteries.  Does the answer exist in dreams, or maybe somewhere in between?

If you’re reading this, you have to wonder whether or not Kenneth Arthur is a real person or a projection.  Certainly, you can’t just trust me.  And if you “Like” this or follow my blog or comment, then I have to decide whether or not you exist too.  It wouldn’t necessarily be bad or sad if the universe was only mine because I don’t feel alone when I’m with my projections.

Sex still feels like sex.  (From how I remember it at least.)

A burn still hurts.

The “Goodbye, Michael” episode of The Office still makes me cry.

I have had real-feeling feelings on the spectrum to love and hate and none of them felt any better or worse simply because the universe might be fake.  Movies weren’t worse, music wasn’t just vanilla and bland, people weren’t any less beautiful or smart.

If I controlled the universe, things would be different.  I can’t. but the only person that has to deal with that knowledge and with the millions of people that live in poverty, are dying, are sad, desperate, and in terrible situations, is me.  And only by proxy.  Would it not give you some comfort to know that everything bad that happens in the world is only a projection and that when you’re not around, they don’t even exist?

You can only have full knowledge of events that somehow affected you, even in the most minor of ways but you can’t have full knowledge of everything.  The only worst case scenario of Solipsism is that outside of your universe, you are alone.  But in here… I’m surrounded by billions.

I believe that you can live a more fulfilling and rich life as a Solipsist based on the fact that people with courage go further.  People with confidence and drive make things happy.  On that note, a Solipsist may take a turn down a different path and say “What does any of this matter?” but I believe you (I) have been given  a gift of potentially seeing a world where I can never feel ashamed again.  I can never feel stupid again.  I can never feel embarrassed again.  I can be the guy that says “Hey, this is what I want” and no that the worst case scenario in that situation is nothing compared to the worst case scenario that I am actually a projection.

But since I am writing this and have full knowledge of what goes on in my mind, I’m certain this isn’t the case.   But you?  You can never be certain about me.

It’s my world, you’re just livin’ in it.

This is most definitely not the end of Solipsism on this blog.

Where Am I?

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