Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Smart People Bevahing Badly (Defending Bad Ideas)

There's a lot to say about this topic on smart people. I mean, I'm not about to make talking points against a scholar of advanced logic. Besides, this is was the best essay I read in a long time.

But it leads me to a tangable subject: Leadership. The other night, my closest friend came over with a copy of the collector's edition of the cult film Office Space. It's one of those movies I can watch over and over. Except this time, I watched it and I couldn't stop thinking about another great film Caddyshack.

There's a lot to compare with these two movies. Especially when it comes to leadership and managment. What is common between these two movies is an underlying discourse of leadership. -In a historical sense, each of the professions potrayed in these two movies are strictly different. Yet, aside from the comedy; it is imporntant to note that the characters play imporntant, respectible roles. Looking at only the leadership of the three major golf members, here are some notes.

Judge Elihu Smails (protagonist?): A pompous arrogant, snob, prone to white pants and yachting caps. As the tyrannical president of the local country club, he tangles with crude newcomer who is....

Al Czervik (antagonist & foil?): An obnoxious nouveau-riche real-estate magnate who appears at Bushwood and, to the horror of Judge Smails, His personality threatens the livelyhood and envision of his golf course.

Ty Webb: A philosophical, well-to-do but unassuming golf savant who blithely plays both sides of the brawl.

Although these movies are fictional, I look past the satire and chuckels and I feel like I can relate to some degree because in my life I have known or seen people in same positions portray their lifes badly. Humans are not perfect, grant that and think about what it takes to be a leader and I'm confused.

Lil' Something I'm Working on.

I got bored the other night and decided to make make fun of the Minnesota Vikings. It should be done in a week.

Welcome to Minnesota Vikings Football Fans, Anonymous. This site is dedicated to the recovery and treatment of being a sports fan of the Minnesota Vikings. Although being a Minnesota Vikings fan is far less dangerous than most substance addictions or behavior disorders; it is by far one the most painful and agonizing known to man. Giving up the purple and gold isn't always easy. In fact, hanging up the horns may be the most difficult thing you have ever done. however, you have already made a brave decision by seeking help. Congratulations on your efforts and remember our motto: Recovery is less than one yard away...Read more.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Get the Facts on New Year Resolutions!

Okay, I'm no expert on this subject. In fact, I am so guilty about failing every year at trying to make things better and become more healthy. By the end of January, I am a miserable wreck and worse than ever before when I decided to get on the bandwagon and live in a make-believe world. Therefore, I should not be writing this.

But to the contrary, I have found strength and researched all the medical journals and looked into the study of behavioral sciences for the answers to this mysterious question about ourselves, and why can not seem to break habits like over-eating, smoking, not exercising. The list goes on and on with the the bad habits we get ourselves into: all the quilt we carry around of our failures in the worst time of the year of the northern hemisphere. Truly, we have only one life and it's too short for all this negative feelings we impose on ourselves.

This year I have become well prepared to tackle the new year's resolution. I had to take a step back and look at where things went wrong before. As well, I applied my knowledge and realized several crucial errors I was making as I was blind to setting failure. I also had to look beyond all the mumbo-jumbo and cockamamie similar to the riotous fruit-loops sweating on a stage at one of those motivational seminars. Especially the kind that your employer paid big bucks with expectation that eventually sparks will fly out of your trousers the next time you are at the photo-copier. Let us rationalize this and think to view this under a different scope. Okay look, man: break it down to semantics, that work is work, and family is family. Beyond that, it's all about time, and work is therefore one fraction of our daily life. Don't fall for the motivation that your company is supplying you. And if you are reading this at work, it's all right. I would never turn you in for being unproductive. You are reading this with all the help of your bosses because they really care about you as much as a herpes sore. You know -it's livable, as long as you don't come back too often with problems. Anyway, it's all the same of things that we once learned back in pre-elementary school. Today, we are grown men and women living as adults. Or, at least try to do so.

This time of the year, you will start reading and hearing about this resolution craze like all the other years and they too, are saying the same thing. Columnists and writers try to get to the nuts with the same stuff I once read in my preparation for this fool-proof resolution- accomplishment-planer-system. They interview doctors and psychologists and explain to us what they know, talking about "behavior pattern modification" and use time under statistical measures to say things such as, "Eat fruit when you get the urge," or, " researchers say it takes X days of Y until you completely kicked the Z (habit). This is actually a great answer in regards to what we know about kicking bad habits. In fact, this is how the experts speak and they're leading the way for us to understand in the best way possible. However, I realized something important and it goes mostly unnoted in research: that as humans we are emotional.

The first step towards having a better year and happier life is to understand that we have deep feelings inside ourselves that we associate with our habits. As we exist in a constant presence of emotion, so do our addictions and the by-product of this is usually guilt, resentment, anger, and all this takes from our motivation and focus and eventually turns into some form of depression. Eventually, a dark cloud will form about 6-8 inches above the crown of the skull and everywhere gone and everything done will be a failure. The first step to my plan is to loose the guilt!

Hey, we got one life! Don't waste another day guilt-ridden. The best way to deal with this is to start catching yourself before sinking into guilt over NOTHING! It's something you created in your mind since God-knows when, and now it's time to put an and to this insanity!

Example: You went out and partied last night, and now you are hung over (or still drunk) and can't go into work. So you get on the phone and as soon as your boss answers the phone or voice mail kicks in you change your demeanor and shine some light coughing and say in crumbly-voice that you are sick as you check the temperature of your forehead and massage the neck with the other free hand not holding the phone. They can not see you. Well, at least you should be guilty of being typical so much that makes you come off as weak.

DO NOT EVER CALL YOUR BOSS AGAIN AND TELL HIM/HER THAT YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL when you know damn well that you should be getting ready for your time at work but you can not do this.

Solution: If you need to take the day off for personal reasons, you probably deserve it! Here's what you do: Pick up the phone, and you dial the creepy digits and you tell them something like this:

"I can not come into work today, I went out last night and had a few too many."

If you need to explain more, then you tell'em this:

"I stole a car."

Okay, now they are being nosy but this is the best part (if they ask).

"Well, I crashed it in a ditch while in police pursuit (brief pause). Then, I ran about ten city blocks but I'm not sure. I jumped several fences and got filthy as I hid in people's yards. I am okay, it's just that I am home now and very tired."

It works best if you get the voice mail because you can say it all out at once! Try singing it to them! Also, you should use their printer to copy this article and keep it for your own personal records. If there are any problems over using a printer for personal use, tell'em I said it was okay. And when you get home, highlight your lines with a stolen highlighter. You're in control now and don't feel bad about stealing. Only God knows how much they steal from of our precious time

So here's my point: You just took that situation and reversed it into your favor:

There's nothing to be guilty about anymore because:
  1. You told the truth. You did go out last night.
  2. No car was actually stolen.
  3. The poa-poa did not run you down for a beating after fleeing-foot from 5-O
  4. Your lie was better than theirs. (Remember all the times they have lied straight to your face about really important things such as working late, or coming in on your day off? Or how easy it is for them to screw you out of a day off? The one you arranged weeks in advance -there is always that one, too!)
  5. You just gave them the impression that you're not about to fall for control or play games. Period. One thing a boss can't take away is the courage for you to really slide a great story to them. When you are done talking to them, they are hanging up the phone after listening to you and wondering what it would be like and to see you hurdling six-feet tall chain-link fence in the heat of the moment and under the weight of felonious charges only seconds away. there is no room for errors in moments like this. Thinking that, you are a one hell of a competitor: A person who does not fail or take "no" for any reason, no matter how high or low are the stakes.
  6. You got their heads rolling. -and keep it that way! Don't let their curiosity of you dwindle! Parlay it to your complete advantage and soon they will be envious of you.
  7. Most of all, you deserve this day off!

Okay, that's one example. But start taking control by rolling heads and make people think how unpredictable you seem to be. It's helped my ego tremendously and I began noticing it within two weeks, -tops! Remember that you have to be responsible for your actions. But; if you loose your job over this, then that is your chance to really tell them how you feel. Go ahead and spill your guts out because you'll never see those awful suits again anyhow! Finally, Pack-up the cubicle and drive off into the morning traffic knowing that they will never forget about that one person who could never look back to think otherwise!

And you can apply this to anything! weather you are an over-eater, an unfaithful spouse, or a you spend too much money, YOU CAN'T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL. And when you want to quit, then it's your time!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Current News Focus: Jesus Christ. Why Not More Nietzsche?

With Newsweek and Time covering Christianity for the end of the year, the rest of the newsbrats are following suit and crying out to preserve Christian traditions this time of the year. Bah Humbug!

This is great beef. Almost too much to the point I become bitchy and irritated. I want to sit alone in my office with the radio off and type out a relentless manifesto about baby Jesus to the sounds of faulty plumbing. But here's my problem: I become nauseous writing about religion. In fact, it disgusts me. In a coffee table conversation, I take my cup and walk off. "If you are Saint Paul: I am a pilgrim," I say. What is scary is there are truths behind this statement. Mostly because fundamental Christians, especially American Christians embraces a profound mission tradition and that I am a pilgrim without any religious agenda. Even if they were any other denomination of creed explaining their faith, or even vampire, I still excuse myself.

It's too deep of a conversation to discuss during a car ride, a lunch break or even a life time. But As much of a philosophy and history buff, I don't enjoy talking about religion for many other reasons. In my studies and travels, I have learned this world we live in is beautifully colored. However, it is also very poor and lonely. This brings up the biggest problem: language. For example, poor and lonely are big words in English and as Americans we take even our language for granted. Here's a deeper explanation:

In theory, language is an expression of culture. My language is English. Bah! I tell people that if they ask. What I don't tell them is it was only something nipple-fed to me as an infant and my true language is something that expresses me as a product of environment. It has a much deeper meaning. But then, I studied languages in college and have a deeper understanding and respect for this just like someone clicking their heels out of a convent school cheering "halleluiah!" Therefore, when I hear people talking about religion, they speak with little understanding of what they are saying. It’s like shooting off at the lips, discussing religion, organized religion, secular religion, etc.

There’s no doubt in my mind Jesus did not live. As well: Shiva, Abraham, Moses, and the Buddha. These are some of the best stories I have read, Fundamental religion is littered with eloquent teachings of our struggles. Basically, they all have the same meaning! It should because they are handed down, interpreted, re-written, and translated. It only took almost two-thousand years to write the Gospels. So here’s another point about language: it changes.

We live in a time where more people have died in the name of our maker. More people are fighting over organized religion when in actually they are synonymous. When Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed in his native Germany, “God is dead.” the English speaking world gasped with disbeleif. People looked at this as a prelude to another atheistic doctrine. It was a statement that upset many people and was largely misunderstood as absurd or false. First of all, it was said through the words of a character in a story he wrote. Secondly, the whole idea behind his story was something no one has ever written while fearing persucution. It is meant to relieve us from the horros of organized religion. More specifically, Christianity in Europe during his time (late 1800’s). It was meant to liberate us and create understanding that religion is an archaic form of crowd control and well out served its purpose in modern times. Nietzsche closed the door on the Holy Roman Empire.

This is not to say every religion is false. Or, important religious leaders never existed. I know there is enough physical evidence around to validate the truths. I just think that if Jesus was around today, he would be really upset. And the same goes for Mohamed and Moses. Organized religions have lost its meaning. Those who are on top, closest to God speak a language of power, corruption, and self-righteousness. Therefore, I choose to be a pilgrim traveling a long, windy road of life without any religious agenda.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Civil Disobedience - An Interesting Collection of Modern War Protest (Images)


I don't know what to think anymore. I'm 30 years old, educated in writing, languages, and international studies, I lived in Europe, and today I am an adult. After seeing the page from the link above, I want to call my relatives in Canada and ask them to sponsor me into citizenship. I'm sure mail-order grooms are not migrating that way.

I have never taken sides of politics. I always took this stuff with a perspective and tried to understand the larger scope. Boy, did I pick the wrong time to become a webmaster. The United States is way more divided than I would have ever thought starring into all this stuff. On FREEWAYBLOGGER DOT COM, are some of the scariest anti-war/Bush signs I have ever seen. I am truly sadden by this.

I remember when I lived outside of Marseilles, France. I was the only American many people knew. Mostly because I never hung around tourist traps and followed the mob of rich Americans on their tours. I was there, and wanted to learn their culture. My friends and people in the street would often strike conversations about life here and it was always friendly. Some nights I would be waiting in queue to enter my favorite jazz club and I would end up standing outside with the bouncer all night debating foreign policies and political ideas. The truth, darnit! No matter how much we would disagree, we had serious respect for eachother's views and would shake hands. Although we may not disagree on something, we understood both sides of the point. My Franco-Arab friend was not the only person like that as this is just one example. Well, this sort of respect does not exist here. In American culture we are too divided. It's in our language (verbal and non-verbal). It's in everything we read and hear about in the news. There is no truth anymore.

Please note: If you are reading me from outside the U.S., Please never forget that what you see and hear on the news is just that. There are many Americans who really care about the rest of the world! I don't blame you for laughing at the U.S. I mean really! It is not us, but the government representing! After seeing the world, and where I am now, I am grateful for my experience abroad.

Allen Ginsberg - Making The Lion For All It's Got -- A Ballad

A lion met America in the road
they stared at each other
two figures on the crossroads in the desert.

America screamed
The lion roared
They leaped at each other
America desperate to win
Fighting with bombs, flamethrowers,
knives forks submarines.

The lion ate America, bit off her head
and loped off to the golden hills
that's all there is to say
about america except
that now she's
lionshit all over the desert.