What on Earth Are We Fighting for? (The Truth About DRHS and the Border Patrol Shirts)

•October 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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Recent controversy at Dakota Ridge High School has left me wondering: What the hell are we doing?

For those unfamiliar with the situation, Bryce Benson attended a DRHS football game wearing a shirt with ‘BORDER PATROL’ spelled across the front in huge yellow letters.

Before the game, the administration at Dakota confronted Bryce and his friend about and expressed their concern about the message the shirts would send.  They did not, however, prevent Bryce from attending the game or boarding the fan bus.

Bryce’s friend, however, was forbidden from boarding the fan bus for supposedly threatening a male cheerleader. Bryce’s mother arrived shortly thereafter, demanding that Bryce and his friends be allowed on the bus.

Bryce and his mother have since been on the news and radio, demonizing the administration and the school as a whole – aided by none other than Tom Tancredo.

According to Bryce, the t-shirt was the sole reason for the fiasco, including his suspension from school.

The whole story, however, is a bit different. Administration has said repeatedly that the shirt had nothing to do with his suspension and that his defiance, disrespect, and the level of disturbance he  caused was what prompted the disciplinary action.

The day after the football game, select teachers at the school made it even worse by wearing their ‘Day Without Hate’ shirts – which, in the minds of many, solidified the connection between Bryce’s shirt and his suspension.

Dakota Ridge has been under fire from many, and misinformation is as plentiful as it is damaging.
But this isn’t about Bryce anymore.

It’s a political battle, and it has nothing to do with Bryce or his first amendment rights.

As far as freedom of expression is concerned, Bryce isn’t the only one who got himself into trouble with words and symbols.

Stefen Gonzales, another senior, earned himself a suspension by having a photoshoot with students holding what appeared to be molotov cocktails and signs that said ‘Fuck America’ and ‘Fuck the System’.

Bryce wasn’t suspended for expressing ideas on school grounds.  Stefen was. The treatment of students is certainly equal – no matter what message you’re sending.

Bryce himself, along with many others in the school, was offended by Stefen’s work.
“Why would you say ‘Fuck America’ when you’re IN America?” One student said.

The whole situation is cripplingly ironic.

The beauty of America lies in the fact that we CAN say ‘Fuck America’ – that we CAN work for change.

But, on the other hand, if we spend all our energy obsessing over t-shirts and symbols, we’ll forget the bigger picture.  If we continue to be more offended when someone says ‘Fuck America’ than when someone says ‘Fuck You’, we’ll never get anywhere.

We’ve forgotten what it means to be unified. We’ve stopped seeing our fellow citizens as allies. We’re so caught up in what it means to be a ‘Democrat’ or a ‘Republican’, we’ve completely forgotten what it means to be an ‘American’.

Personally, I don’t give a shit what your political or religious beliefs are. I don’t give a shit about what country you’re from, or about the color of your skin. I don’t give a shit who you are or aren’t attracted to. What I care about is what you’re willing to do – for yourself, for your country, and for the world.

A Preview of What is to Come

•May 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is a preview of the… “story”… that I’ve been writing. It’ll be finished someday. Provided that demons don’t start spilling forth from my heater vents and vomiting all over my keyboard in a few hours like believers in the Rapture seem to believe.
Let me know what you think, if you do think. Also, subscribe and tell all your friends. If you have those.
Thanks.
-zadoubleq

The ground is especially shiny tonight.

The Stars smile up from the pavement, displaying their benevolence in the reflective concrete.  In reality, these tiny specks of light are colossal engines of destruction, spraying fire and chaos through the universe until their inevitable demise; And when they do meet their unfortunate end, their fury is increased tenfold.  They swallow entire solar systems, desperately destroying all life within their grasp.  The wrath of a star is unlike any other.

But these, like so many gods and goddesses of past eons, smile upon me. They harbor no ill will. For whatever reason, they seem to like me.  Rather than torturing my fragile planet with inextinguishable flames and death, they gently caress the earth, feeding it, giving it life. They make the earth beautiful.

I look down.  The sidewalk that had so faithfully guided my steps only moments ago seems suddenly cold and harsh. Its love is conditional and unfeeling…  Unlike the stars…

I gaze deeply into the asphalt, admiring the power and grace of the universe. They stare back, warm and reassuring. Time becomes a foreign concept. Why limit or measure existence with mere numbers?

The stars spin, encircling a single space, void of life or death.  They call attention to it. They worship it.  As each second passes, the void seems more desolate and sinister than the last.

The stars’ cosmic game of ring-around the-rosy quietly accelerates until the individual stars are indistinguishable from the infinitely bright circle of cosmic behemoths.

As I watch, i feel nauseated. My stomach seems to scream in agony, as if the gravitational pull of the celestial display had been transferred directly to the turkey sandwich I ate for lunch. I fall to my knees, whimpering.  My eyes stay locked with the phenomenon in the pavement.

They spin. And spin. And spin. It seems as if time itself has grown old and died.  The benevolent mask the stars previously wore has been replaced by a gruesome and malicious glare.

Why would the stars lie? Why would they deceive me? What have I done to deserve this?

My turkey sandwich has hit the “EJECT” button.

My eyes close of their own accord as gallons of stomach acid and partially digested food rip their way out of my body. Never before have I felt such cruelty and sadism from the hands of my own digestive system. The evils of Satan himself cannot compare to the relentless twisting of my stomach. Even the digestive juices that succeeded in their escape scream their hatred and loathing at me while attempting to burn past the fragile layers of my skin.

I open my eyes timidly.  The world is darker than before. Everything is harsh and piercing. The once softly swaying blades of grass stand at attention in hopes of impaling some unfortunate passer-by. The trees, once supplying oxygen to the fleshy beings of the planet, grow tall and menacing, announcing their opposition to human progress. The cars and suburban dwellings smile ominously, plotting the sabotage of the human race.

Everything has become hostile… Everything but the stars. They’ve stopped spinning. They still maintain their circular formation, but they’ve stopped spinning. That alone makes everything better.
I feel stronger. Better. I have hope.

I stand up slowly. My joints and muscles are reluctant to support my weight, but the stars are beckoning to me. Pulsing.  They are the key. They are my salvation.

The first step I take into the street brightens the world around me.  Everything becomes lighter, more optimistic. Is it destiny? Fate? Divine Intervention? The next step must be taken.

And the next. And the next.  The progression is so beautiful… Every step increases the positive energy of the universe. The stars pulse and vibrate as I near them. What I wouldn’t give to make this moment last forever.

Am I in love?

I reach the circle of the stars, and they separate, inviting me into the center.  They know what will happen. They want it to happen.

They close the circle behind me.  Immediately they start spinning, and my stomach’s rage returns, forcing me to my knees once more.  It tries to purge itself. In vain. My retching and heaving yields only saliva and bitter mucus.

My stomach realizes the futility of its efforts and releases its grip. Slowly.

Void and emptiness gaze up at me from the center of the circle.  Laughing, they mock me. They cackle at my naiveté in staccato bursts of auditory violence.

Never before…. Never before had I been aware of the universe as I am now. Vivid images of human emotion flash before my eyes. The tears and pain of abandoned children who will never know how it feels to be held by their mother.  The forgotten dreams of a mother dying in childbirth.  The bitter regret of never saying goodbye to a loved one.  The regret of a man on his deathbed looking back at an unfulfilled life.

 The collective sorrow and pain of the universe descends upon me,  filling every empty space in my being and overflowing, forcing itself out in the form of tears agonized screams.

The cackles of the void are gone. The world is silent except for my own desperate cries and a soft hum.  I feel suddenly out of place.  An intruder.  I beg my screams to be silent. They laugh at my request, growing even louder. I bite my tongue as hard as I can manage. My vision is blurred with a different brand of tears, and the taste of blood overcomes the taste of vomit — But the screams die down. Slightly. They remain, but only as whimpers. It’ll have to do.

With my own screams pacified, the hum seems louder… It is louder. And getting louder by the second. Confusion pierces my skull.

I close my eyes, listening, trying to determine where I’ve heard such a sound before; The hum is ethereal.  No earthly sound is so assertive.

I open my eyes.

The light that greets me is by far the coldest light I have ever felt in my life. My eyes quickly adjust to this visual onslaught, and I find that it is not one light, but two;  two incredibly bright lights moving at an incredible speed. In my direction.

They race each other — Determined, angry, cold.  They both want the glory of reaching me before the other.

I kneel on the pavement, slack-jawed and unable to move.  Wonder and awe flood my very existence. Pain? Misery? Anger? Hatred? Happiness? Joy? Life itself?  These things are part of a past that is not my own.  I am more.  This is more than life.  Something bigger than me exists. It sees me. It knows me. It guides me.

The lights are only milliseconds from greeting me.  I smile, greeting them with open arms.

A Stream Of Consciousness

•May 21, 2011 • 1 Comment

This post is a stream of consciousness. I’d like to post something on this blog once a day on average but today, I have no profound bits of enlightenment. No satire. No sarcasm. Nothing worth reading at all.

I’m content. Not angry or irritated, nor desperate, not apathetic, nor enthused. I am simply content to occupy the space that I do, to interact with those that I can, and to simply exist.  Everything around me is more or less how I want it; There are no angry wildebeests in my kitchen, and I’m not hungry even if there were.  I have the internet, a phone, music, a television. I’ve got food, water, electricity… a shower.

So many are less fortunate. Less fortunate… The phrase belittles their plight.  So many have absolutely nothing. So many have less than one one thousandth what I have, and yet I still complain and rant about society’s problems, as if they are of any consequence. As if the free education system is in some way flawed, compared to some who learn to write with sticks. In the dirt.  As if we have problems…

In America we have everything we could possibly want. Or at least I do. I have no idea what anyone else has. It would be quite arrogant of me to say that anyone else has it better than me, or anyone else for that matter. I am not them- I cannot know.  But still. We survive…. No. We thrive.

Is that a positive or a negative, though? Is life a positive (objectively) or a negative? Is long life a gift or a curse?  And how can you measure the subjective objectively?

This digression is pointless. It will lead nowhere. Or it might, I’m no fortune teller. For the time being, it is only thought, only exploration into the nature of what is.  I am. That is the only constant.  I cannot comprehend the lack of my existence, but I fear it so- and so I will do everything in my power to preserve my existence. But really, are life’s positives and life’s negatives equal? Or does one outweigh the other? If so, which? It seems quite subjective, still, and probably differs from person to person.

I keep drifting back to death. Or the lack of life.  It doesn’t really matter which. Life and death coexist beautifully. In that beauty, is an unimaginable horror, however.  Duality. Again. Life is Death. Death is life. Without death, life is meaningless. Without life, death is meaningless.

Why must it be this way? The human life is objectively meaningless, but subjectively it can be the most valuable thing in the universe. Why?  Why is it that in order to make something beautiful, one must also make it ugly?

Life, death, life death.  Does it matter in the end? Death is inevitable. Presumably. So we’re all going to experience death. If there is indeed some magical land in the clouds, or an oven under the ground, we’ll see it. And, assuming that there aren’t an infinite number of destinations, we’ll end up with our fellow humans. Or at least some of them. So why do we fear death?

Or do we fear death?  Do we really know what death is? Yes, the heart stops. The blood becomes stagnant. The body decays. But what is it? What is missing? Is it the brain? if the brain functions, does the human exist? Or the sum of the individual parts? Does an amputee become something less (or more) than before?  Do we have souls? Are our souls OURS, or are they US? Are we our souls, and our bodies vessels? Or the other way around, like saying ‘our’ souls would imply?  OR maybe the soul is the body that we abuse.

Again, pointless ramblings, digressions into nothingness.Nothing itself.  But at the same time…. Everything.

The Rapture

•May 20, 2011 • 1 Comment

So the issue of apocalypse and cosmic change has come up once more.

According to some sources, the Rapture is scheduled to occur tomorrow: May 21st, 2011. They cite the bible and the ‘mathematics’ therein (By the way, it seems as if the authors’ math skills were somewhat lacking…).

So this sucks, right? Everything we’ve been working for on the planet is going to be demolished by the hand of some  megalomaniac in the sky?

Well. It gets worse.

May 21st, 2011 is 5/21/11.

Using the digits of that date, a hidden message can be revealed…

5+11+2+1= 19. S is the nineteenth letter of the alphabet.

5, clearly the most important number in the date, corresponds to the letter E.

21+5-1-1= 24… X.

52,111 divided up into its alphabetical counterparts, is 5,2,1,11. EBAK.

All of this is meaningless unless you put it together.

SEXEBAK.  In modern terms? SexyBack.

Justin Timberlake is coming back to judge us all- by how attractive we are.

Repent your aesthetic sins, ye UgLi and deformed! The end is nigh for the homely.

ACT

•May 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Today I received my ACT test results in the mail.

My scores were as follows:

English subscore: 34, 99th percentile in the US.

Mathematics subscore: 27, 88th percentile in the US

Reading subscore:  29, 88th percentile in the US

Science subscore: 25, 84th percentile in the US

Composite Score: 29, 94th percentile in the US.

94th percentile overall in the United States. 94th percentile.  As a percentile, this means that out of 100 test takers, I scored “as well or better than” 94 of them. For a better idea of how well I scored, let’s assume every citizen of the united states took the test and affects the calculation of my percentile.

There are 307,006,550 people in the United States according to the July 2009 census.

If every person was taken into account, I scored “as well or better than” 288,586,157 people.

That leaves 18,420,393 people that scored better than me.

Surely not every one of those matters, so here’s an estimation of high school data:

In 2000, 26% of the population was 18 or younger.

If it’s distributed evenly (which it probably isn’t, I know), that means roughly 1/6 of those would be taking the ACT.

So, 4 and 1/3rd percent of the population is 13,303,617 people.

Out of that, I scored “as well or better than” 12,505,340 people. That still leaves 798,277 people who scored better than me overall.

Sure, I’m in the 94th percentile overall. Unfortunately colleges look at GPA more than they do ACT scores, and ACT scores count for little else than college admissions. So does it really mean anything?

On Thought

•May 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

How can one be a believer in relativism, and come to any conclusions about the nature of reality? How can one determine anything useful if everything in the universe is ultimately relative?

Say, for instance, that you were in my exact situation. To be in my exact situation, you would have my mind, my beliefs, and my feelings. You would know everything that I know, and so, could it be determined that you would act precisely how I do because your ‘decision’ would stem from factors that would be identical in every way?

Everyone’s actions are understandable, because everything is relative. One might condemn hitler for his actions and arrogantly assert that they would never do such a thing if they were in his position. However, if they were indeed in his position, then their actions would be identical to his, as they would have his opinions, his particular brand of logic, his emotions, his genetics, his experiences, etc etc.

This leads to the question, do we really have free will, or are our decisions products of our thought– and our thoughts simply products of our genetics, our environment, and our situation as a whole?

It is true we can be trained through various disciplines to somewhat ‘control’ our thoughts, but it is ultimately a conditioning of the mind to react certain ways in certain scenarios.  If you wish to stop the occurrence of ‘negative thoughts’ in any given scenario, you can train your mind to react differently;  In order to accept such training, however, one must first think about receiving the training in order to make the decision, so the training itself would be based off of thoughts, not decision.

So thoughts would come from a variety of factors:

Thoughts

Outside influences from our senses

Personal identity (determined by genetics and our environment)

We can’t control any of these. To ‘control’ our senses or our environment would require an action, which ultimately comes from a thought. This means you’d be trying to control a thought with a thought; If you don’t control the first thought and the first thought controls the second through action, then there is no control over the second thought.  Unless one has the power to control the very first thought they had (which, unless they know everything about themselves and the world around them at the first instant of brain functioning, is impossible), they can’t control any subsequent thoughts.  Because action stems from thoughts and thoughts stem from factors beyond our control, free will is ultimately an illusion.

Frozen Teeth in Capitalist Hell

•May 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My teeth are cold.
Damn cold.  It feels like I just took a bite out of Frosty the snowman.  It’s all the tiny ice-centipedes that Hillary Clinton’s been paying Sam Fisher to sneak into my food and beverage, so that they thaw ever so slightly and wreak thermal havoc on my pearly whites.

Right? Wrong…… Right? Wrong? Right.

Right and wrong have not the easily deciphered hands of a clock. They are infinite and vague, never objective and always subjective. But the concept itself hardly lends itself to relativity….

Once again, the crossroads of decision have conquered me.

Morality, like the slippery enigma that it is (not?), has escaped my wandering mind.

 
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