Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Work Rehab

I was thinking about Lindsay Lohan today. Well she was actually the first story on TMZ and we all know my TMZ addiction by now. Anyways, soon to be released from jail she is upset that she getting sent straight to 90 days rehab. It will be her second stint. She went in 2007 to a rehab in Utah for alcohol and drugs. I know that on last week's episode of Entourage that Ari's buddy and business partner Andrew was in sex rehab. Dr. Drew just paid Tiger Wood's former mistress $500K to star in his television rehab show. Everywhere there is rehab. Rehab from alcohol. Rehab from sex. Where is the rehab from everything else? Rehab from a crappy job? Rehab from terrible bosses? Rehab from unbelievably ridiculous goals and a capitalistic system that is completely unbalanced? It is these things that can cause the need for rehab from the alcohol and drugs right there.

Today I worked out, my hour and a half of zen. Afterwards I sat in the hot tub. Later on I laid in a hammock in the backyard under a tree and continued reading this really good book about the first US World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, called "Devil in the White City." I realized today at that moment that I am in work rehab. I thought about all those people in terrible jobs. They are miserable, insecure about their position, trying to maintain ridiculous goals or visions they have no desire to reach. They are still sick out there; desperate and crying out for help. But here it is is peaceful. There are no pressures. I'm not counting down the minutes on the clock. I'm not a zombie taking orders. I'm free. The air feels lighter. The food tastes better. I'm eating healthier and drinking a gallon of water a day. I look forward to exercising instead of forcing myself to do so.

A week ago I fought this. I didn't want to be here. I felt forced and trapped. I longed for a desk, a daily agenda, and supervisors over my shoulder to manage my every breath. I needed the cold embrace of a company supplying my paycheck. Society tells you that you are a loser if you are not employed and equally miserable. That you need to get back on the horse immediately. As if time to re-evaluate is for sissies. That you're a bum if you are not pounding on the pavement for the next deadbeat job. Of course society is right in a lot of ways too. You do need to pay for a roof over your head and a vehicle to drive with. You still need to eat and that costs money. There's insurance and recreation and if you have a family to support that kind of limits the rehab capabilities. So work work rehab isn't for everyone. Those under those conditions still need to rehab from time to time, but they need to find that peace in shorter increments.

It's not as though I'm sitting on my couch watching television and stuffing my face with junk food. I've embraced the spirituality of this place. I equate this time to the scene in Legends of the Falls when Brad Pitt's character takes off on his travelling journey. Yet instead of hunting zebras I'm playing tennis, rafting, and writing a gazillion blogs. In fact, such is the life in rehab my friends Sam and Remy interrupted my writing time for some tennis. We got both the sun and exercise out of the way. Remy is on his way to get a haircut which is the whole Jersey Shore trifecta right there.

I realize that it will have to come to an end eventually. I can't stay here forever. The peace and tranquility I am experiencing now is too good to last. I know that eventually obligations (i.e. bills) will win and this rehab gig will be a thing of the past but I'm not running back to the arms of society. They can drag me out of here kicking and screaming. Or throw a straight jacket on me. One man's rehab is another man's asylum. At least I have an answer when someone asks me what I do for a living. I tell them I'm in rehab.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Under the sea

The CEO of BP stepped down yesterday. Amid his companies environmental catastrophe off the coast of Louisiana, a more delayed and deserved conclusion could not have occurred. This guy should have left a month ago, probably two. His arrogance at getting back to his "normal life" after his company wreaked havoc on the lives of so many people in that region was unbelievable. The fishing industry there in ruins and the oil industry there shut down completely for the time being. This doesn't even begin to explain the ecological damage. We all saw the pictures of the birds covered in brown crude oil. What we haven't seen is the effect on the life underneath the once blue sheen now muddy brown waters. Is the oil staying up top or has it sunk below?

We keep looking for our existence by going to the sky, but the ocean is one of the most unexplored regions in our universe. We've tested monkeys or dogs for signs of intelligence, but how many tests have been done on octopus and dolphins? We'd be lying to ourselves if we said that "Paul the octopus" who predicted 8 consecutive decisions of World Cup soccer was merely lucky. There is intelligence below the ocean sea perhaps greater than anything above it. Maybe the answers to the questions of our existence are found down there and not the galaxies or heavens above we keep searching for.

When I searched "intelligence under sea" online the search engine did not come back with stories about the creatures below it but the humans above it. Intelligence is information, or technology, and equipment, all put in the water by man. It's the same equipment that caused the devastation in Louisiana and the assured deaths of several much more intelligent life forms than the man-made intelligence that destroyed it.

We've romanticized the ocean. We've fantasized about underwater civilizations. There were stories of mermaids as far back as 1000 BC. There were stories of Kraken, gargantuan-sized squid, who attacked ships and pulled them down below the sea from Norse legend. Obviously one of the greatest novels of all-time Moby Dick about a ferocious whale and a man's obsessed journey to conquer him. In the tales marine life was powerful and dangerous, but not necessarily intelligent. In the tales we were told man reigned supreme and the life forms below were to be feared. Jaws made sharks the new terror in the water. According to statistics from the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) the most unprovoked amounts of attacks on humans was 79 in 2000. Yet the odds of a fatality due to a shark attack is 0 in 264.1 million. In comparison drowning fatalities that same year, 1 in 3.5 million. Yes sharks attack, rarely, but it is an even more rare occurrence if a life is lost in the process. You have a better chance of winning Powerball then getting attacked by a shark.

Yet many feel little sympathy if a shark is killed, because our beliefs are that the shark is a predator that would harm us. The statistics don't support that. Sharks appear to be incredibly intelligent animals. While watching a show about a killer whale that attacked and killed a great white shark off the coast of San Francisco I learned that sharks warn their fellow sharks of the dangers imposed. When a killer whale attacked a shark and held the shark upside down the shark went into a state of paralyzed shock. It became immobilized and was defenseless to the whale. This learned behavior by the killer whale to defeat the shark caused a complete disappearance of all sharks within the vicinity. They knew there was a greater threat now in the water then themselves and they left the scene immediately. Scientists believe they released a chemical in the water that alerted any shark of the the threat. Yet even sharks much further from the area where the attack took place vanished. It was almost if they were communicating another way.

In 2008, a bottlenose dolphin named Moko saved two sperm whales off the coast of New Zealand. When people discovered the trapped whales they weren't sure if it would be better off to destroy the whales then watch them suffer in their trapped condition. That is when Moko came to the scene and directed the whales out the narrow channel and back to the sea. In 2007, a surfer off the the coast of Monterey was saved by dolphins when he fell victim of a rare shark attack. The dolphins protectively circled him after the shark had attacked him, allowing him to get back on his board and catch a wave back into shore.

These are intelligent creatures that live in relatively deep water and above in the sea, but in the depths of the ocean what intelligent life exists? Life that has no doubt existed in longer continuity than any life on land. The movie the Abyss touched the subject of alien like beings that lived below. Jelly fish and sea horses surely resemble alien life forms to us when viewed in aquariums. Yet most of our underwater exploration is again tied to man. We search for missing treasures, and sunken ships. We search for historical artifacts and our links to the past.

If this intelligence is deep below I wonder what they are thinking. When the oil cap bursts and their waters are polluted, do they wonder if we did it intentionally? When we savagely hunt down whales or dolphins (in parts of Japan), do they wonder why they've rescued us? When we fill their oceans with our trash and pollution, do they blame us? If there is intelligence in the ocean down below I sure hope they take pity on our lack of it above.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Call me Mr. Meathead

That's it! I give up! I've decided to change some areas in my life. First things first, writing is not editing. I know many of you who read my blog (thanks Mom, sis) have critiqued my grammatical and spelling errors. Guess what? They are staying. In fact I promise to increase my incorrect usage of there and their. I will continue to spell crisis as crises. I will definitely make sure I increase my run-on and fragmented sentences. Do you know why? Ignorance is bliss!

Just look, everywhere we turn the most ignorant and incompetent are running the place. They could be your boss, your co-worker, or your next door neighbor. Even more appalling than their disregard for others, their general indifference to the world around them, or their inability to express emotions other than joy or rage is that they are happy. They love their life. They don't care about 2012, they are happy it's Friday. Forget getting them concerned about the threat of Iran or North Korea, they played in the World Cup they must be "ok". Two wars in progress, our climate dissipating right before our eyes, the crumbling of our national economy...did you see who won today on American Idol?

I'm done fighting it. I'm throwing away all of my classics and stacking my shelves with James Patterson. I'll admit it, Avatar was the greatest movie I've ever seen. Did you hear that dialogue? Genius. I think those Jersey Shore kids have real talent. All this time I've been blinded by my own jealousy. I'm letting go. Deep breaths....ahhh.

The Situation is my new hero. He just hits the gym an hour and a half a day, gets a nice glow, a fresh haircut, and life is good. Why have I made it so complicated? It's working to the tune of dollar bills baby. Paris Hilton, where are you? TMZ is more important than CNN. Let's get rid of CNN and get more TMZ, TMZ 2. Just keep them coming!

I think we need a reality show about the making of a reality show. Let's film the camera crew secretly and see what they are saying about the cast they are filming. Why stop there though. We can film the producers who approve the shows and the network executives who green light them. We'll follow them in their yachts and mansions, get a camera crew for their wives AND their mistresses.

When I flipped on the Tonys a few weeks ago I was surprised to see so many famous Hollywood actors in theater. I watched as Scarlett Johansson, Jude Law, and Denzel Washington all won top awards while not one unrecognizable face showed up on camera. Where were all the professional theater actors? Did they get pushed out of roles because of all the scripted shows on television are going the way of reality? I wonder why the stage actors getting pushed off Broadway don't just do a complete 180 and start their own reality show. They'd have it green lighted today. Then after they are famous they can get bumped back to the stage.

We know most movies are garbage now. Do I really have to see another bad 1980's television show made into a movie? Is this all we got? Our economy has already sourced out all of our industry we might as outsource Hollywood to the zombies. When is that Facts of Life movie coming out? Tootie?!

So there we have it, thinking is overrated. Now excuse me while I take my talents to the gym for an hour and a half.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Social Climber

I wonder what it would be like to be rich and famous and know that the woman you are talking to is only talking to you for those reasons. Physical attraction is an added plus for her, but she is only concerned about the first two qualifiers. You could be a great looking guy but without the two main ingredients this woman will not take you seriously. You could have a PHD, volunteer several hours to many charitable causes, be the funniest guy on the planet but this particular woman is out for one of two things only: fame and wealth.

You can't blame her. Society says that these things are important. Everyone wants to be wanted, right? I mean, that paparazzi crew that follows those can't be "that" bad. TMZ can make you a star. It can also watch your star flame out into dust on the national stage and become everyone's comedy bitch, but that is the price. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. So these women, let's call them social climbers, these women know they have the looks and enough personality to get involved with these men and there you have it. Of course, it works the other way too now more than ever. In the olden days it would be unheard of for a successful famous woman to marry a less than successful man but that's changed. Women now create their own wealth and social climbers go both directions. There are just as many sugar mommas out there in the world as sugar daddies. Cougars are out in the prowl and a 20-something male is the new older woman's midlife crises sports car.

No one is more at fault then the men or women who are used in this scenario. They are attracted to the pretty box and when they've spent enough time to see that the box is empty you can't sympathize with them because they liked the wrapping paper. Most of these people that are wealthy made several great decisions to get to that point in their lives. That they could blow it all up for matters of the heart shows just how full of themselves they are. They have to know these women (or men) are only after one thing but their arrogance leads them to believe they are different. Or worse they don't care and are prepared to emotionally self-destruct. Maybe they feel guilty for their wealth and success and their desire for the temptress is a way to level the field. Did Mel Gibson seek out Oksana Grigorieva? She is definitely the definition of a climber but did Mel feel guilty for his wealth so he fell for her to destroy it. Maybe that is too deep. Maybe it was just the pretty wrapping paper analogy. I don't know.

I'm certainly not defending Mel Gibson, whose tirades show he is losing his mind anyways. This seems to be another characteristic of the super-wealthy. Howard Hughes, anyone? But, she definitely set her sights out on him and he rolled over. He also ended a long marriage to a wife who supported him throughout his career before he was this rich and famous guy so Mel gets a low score on the sympathy scale.

Reality seems to be the one thing we have lost during this reality television phase. Everyone's lost touch of it. That a guy whose specialty is working out, getting some sun, and hooking up with chicks on the Jersey piers is making $40K an episode or more is insanity. He's probably never taken an acting class, probably never read a book, and now he's an instant success story. That is the new role model. Don't worry about that education little Jimmy, you too can get on MTV if they decide to parody you and you can make yourself into a real-life human caricature. This guy makes Paris Hilton look like Meryl Streep. But, I don't blame them. They are social climbing themselves and we are all the chumps getting taken for a ride. It's gotta be that pretty wrapping paper.