Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Surfing a bubble

I am not a surfer. I have never paddled on a board out in the ocean. I have never balanced on the pounding ice cold blue water as a wave crested behind me. I've never jumped a shark, nor have I come in contact with one. The idea of surfing is what drew me to my blog title. It has always been something I've wanted to do, but never have. It seems like surfers possess some kind of spiritual intelligence and depth even when speaking in two-syllable words. No, I am not a surfer as the physical and literal description of surfing describes. However, we are all riding the wave.

Economist call our economic downturns the popping of bubbles. When the stock market crashed in the 1920's it was a bubble. The technology stock collapse in the early 2000's, another bubble. The housing meltdown we are still all in the middle of? Once again another bubble. As if we blew them up with a child's bubble wand in our front yard. Or if we were chewing a wad of bubble yum gum. It gives us the feeling that we somehow control the outside forces of this so-called bubble. That we are all children playing. As if we could even blow up a bubble big enough to burst and cause such devastating ramifications. We were all so irrational. We should have known better. If we had just played with our toy guns and G.I. Joes instead of blowing bubbles as children maybe we wouldn't have these things happen to us. No these economic downturns are not fun and bubbly bubbles. They are waves. The force of them too strong to say that they were simply man-made irrational creations.

 This analogy always makes more sense to me. You see a bubble will always pop but to a child its results are harmless. We simply blow up another one. There are no dire consequences of it. We don't get spanked or yelled at. No one laughs at us or calls us names. It's simple physics. A bubble created by hot hair eventually pops. Yet it doesn't grow so massive as to cover entire cities with it's carnage. We don't hear about bubble yum damage to vehicles or houses. You can not die from a bubble. You can however drown from a wave. And every time our economy collapses due to a wave of economic force that is both created and natural people drown all the time.

You see a bubble is always going to pop, but some people are amazing surfers. The economy can collapse and they will still be riding their board. Some of these people even thrive in periods of intense misfortune for others. They've either been wise enough to ride on a smaller wave behind the gigantic wave everyone else swam up to, or they rode the wave before the fatal one and are already back on the beach drinking a Pina Colada. You see the wave is timing. You see other's on top of it and the water is incredibly inviting. It's calling you out. Maybe, just maybe I can ride the wave too you think. Maybe I am a natural. Of course a lot of people who die on this wave thinking they are naturals have never had a surfing lesson in their life. No one is a natural born surfer. If you jump on the wave in the mid force of it with no skills you will not be prepared when that wave collapses on you. Even the best surfers in the world die on waves.

Of course many of them don't. They time the wave perfectly. They feel the wind on their faces and the dampness in their hair as they master the water beneath their feet. The feeling must be incredible. To somehow balance on such a powerful force of nature that claims so many others year after year. And as they jump off their surfboard after an exhilarating ride and feel there truth could not be any clearer, they are greeted by a shark and eaten to death. Oh yeah they live in the ocean too. And whether you are a professional surfer or a novice lured into the wave, you taste all the same.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I came to collect

What makes us remember what we do and forget what we shouldn't? I always have ideas for great stories or business ideas and when they hit they will rattle around in my head like a quarter in the dryer. It is so overwhelming and all encompassing as to drive me mad.  I try to hold it and keep it inside as the day progresses or before I can write it out and by the end of the day I don't even remember my first name. You spend so much time zoning out to distract yourself from the monotony of the day that what you actually do want to hold on to washes away to sea. It's a message in a bottle floating out in the universe so someone more adapt at writing things down can absorb and make millions. Thanks asshole!

I want my 10% commission off every good idea I've floated into the universe. There must be a bit to collect. I'm sure I came up with songs and movies before they were written. I am sure I created the pillow pet before that woman claimed it and made hundreds of millions. All I want is my cut for floating it out there originally. Call it my thought finders fee. I am not asking for half or even a quarter. They had the gumption and the follow through I lacked. They bled the sweat and tears to get it off the ground. They invested capital and man power. They stayed awake nights unsure of themselves while I slept, on my elephant pillow pet, like a baby. But I floated it out there. I created the mojo for the magic to follow. Without my positive karamtic vibes they would be sitting behind a desk somewhere slinging something for a living. So hook me up already. Give me my dime bag of the profits!

Wouldn't that be great if we could repo our thoughts or feelings? To hell with vehicles..I want my idea back and I'm coming to collect, you can keep my kidney! I just want that idea I gave you ten years ago. I want that attention I showered you with. I'm repossessing it, pronto. There is no way to pay it off. You are way past making payments. I'm just here to collect it and move on. I guess that was the basis of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Let's free up some mind space. Wipe the slate clean from all associations and start anew, clearing our head like you would the cache in your computer. In Memento short-term memory was the driving force to that fun motel adventure. Who needs a vacation when every ten minutes we can start all over again. In Groundhog Day Bill Murray lamented how he is stuck reliving the miserable day in Puksatawnee. Why couldn't he have his one day on the beach to live over? Why can't those memories be bottled up and sealed tight? Why do our memories, or in his case recycled days, seem to focus on the should haves or could haves, instead of the haves?

Well I for one am done floating out my ideas for free. I am holding onto my idea like child does a balloon and not releasing it's hot air into the atmosphere. Instead I will carry it around with me and I don't care what anyone says about it. A grown man can carry balloons with him wherever he goes. Ok, well that idea can go...nevermind. Released. But no seriously, I want to finish what I start. I have ideas..bold, crazy, ideas. Sometimes I share them too soon and it is like releasing the air out of this hypothetical balloon. It sputters out and dies or pops unceremoniously. I'm going to keep these things tight until they are strong balloons, huge balloons, I'm talking massive balloons. Do you see where I am going here? They will be almost offensively gigantic balloons.

That doesn't mean I don't want to collect on my 10%. It just means I realistically realize that by donating it into the universe I have contributed to the economic well being of our society. I am always a giver. If we can find a way to write those kind of contributions off on our taxes, now that would be ideal.