Fashionably Late To The Party: The People's Echo Chamber

For The People, By Dr. Claw

One More Day, Then More Week
The Doc's plans are foiled.
I waved the white flag. I called in an appointment via the job for counseling advice this Thursday.

Too much stuff is causing too much stress.

Just gotta get through tomorrow.

Then the next few days until vacation begins.

No fancy end tag,

Dr. Claw

November Surprise
Holy shit.

Wasn't expecting that.

I thought somehow, someway, the real Axis of Evil ("Big Money", Racism, and Sexism) would unite to take down everyone Tuesday night.

Instead, the shoe's on the other foot. Because if you thought I was mad in 2004...

[...then you'd be wrong.]
The racist tweets, Facebook posts, and so forth are off the chain.
The conservatives mourning the loss of a "movement" against so-called "big government" are in numbers.
Their whole world has ended. The American Psyche, especially in the neo-Confederate South, is taking one on the chin like that woman who assaulted the bus driver in Cleveland.

More than the Prez and my U.S. Senator being retained, I'm glad all those "rape bandits" took Ls Tuesday night. I'm glad George "Macaca-Cola" Allen and Linda McMahon took Ls. The federal government is already ridiculous, we don't need more caricatures in there.

Most of all, I'm glad that overall, it seemed that people who sought to keep people out of the ballot box and people who sought to outright buy elections largely failed. A lot of money that could have been invested into communities and dropped toward fixing some of our economic issues was wasted on the pomp and bullshit that is our "big" election. Everyone who watches us around the world is laughing at us, but also seem to be relieved that we didn't go completely crazy.

I'm relieved.

I'm glad it's over; I live in a "swing" state that did its damn job, and I was tired of all the signs, ads, chatter about this election. Maybe one day in my lifetime it'll be more of a "boring" affair that doesn't pull so many heartstrings.

But man. These people are losing their minds. The true selves are coming out.

When I was mad about Bush, I really felt he had failed us, that our government had failed us. Iraq was an illegal, immoral war that our government bullied our way into. I was against it from day 1. The antiwar movement did not do much to persuade these dillweeds either.

Then Bush went on to preside over the eventual economic collapse, which was brought about by "conservative" ideas about how to bring about prosperity (to the people who were already there).

It was truly an "I told you so" moment. We could have avoided it.

But then again, we probably would not have witnessed what we did Tuesday night.

Was it worth it?

It seems that the losers of 2004 learned from that loss. I don't think these guys will.

Shocked, but not,

Dr. Claw

Holding Pattern
I haven't really felt any better since the last time I wrote. It feels like there is an insurmountable weight upon my shoulders, keeping me from what I must do.

I've procrastinated for just about everything of note recently: work, housework, this blog, my other blog, all kinds of other routine things. Video games, even.

I'm not even following sports with the same fervor. Granted, the Eagles suck, the Cavs are still in a rebuilding phase, and the other sports are either in limbo or out-of-season.

Though, my Eagles fandom, and the endless disappointment it has brought me is sort of reminding me of another upcoming event I'm lightweight dreading... [...the end of election season.]

...the end of election season.

Since I've been here, I've had something to say about every one of note. In 2004, I was filled with rage as this country granted an absolute inept, corrupt, and embarrassing president in George W. Bush a second term. I wrote about it here. It was largely a disaster and a mess, particularly for the economy -- effects that are still being felt today.

In 2006, I was somewhat encouraged to see that people sent Bush a well-deserved middle finger in the midterms. It gave my state of residence (Ohio) a great Senator in Sherrod Brown, breaking up the rubber-stamping in Congress.

In 2008, I was elated to see that the disaster of Bush was followed with a welcomed breath of fresh air in the Obama/Biden ticket. I had a lot to say leading up to the day, but little to say afterward.

Here we are in 2012. The numbers, crunched by math nerds like Nate Silver, all but predict an Obama win, and wins for some of the Senate seats I want to see either defended or flipped. The conservative media already has their plea-cops ready. Rumblings on one side of the Romney/Ryan ticket show their first signs of doom and gloom. Rupert "Prime Evil" Murdoch is throttling New Jersey governor Chris Christie for being too "cooperative" toward the President during a time of disaster. Early vote numbers in battleground states are very encouraging.

So why I can't I relax? This whole thing smells of 2004. Even though Obama's numbers are more or less the same as Bush's at the same point in the game, which should bode well... there's a whole lot of fuckery to go around. In battleground states needed for an Obama win, including my own of Ohio, the people in charge of elections, are all doing their damndest to keep people from voting. If I ever see Secretary of State Jon Husted, who has been smacked down at the U.S. Supreme Court even for his efforts in suppressing the vote, I just might punch him right in the face. The same goes for Florida Governor Rick Scott (who apparently is not popular at all in Florida, even).

I haven't written much about him, because really, all there is to say, is out there on the Internet -- but Mitt Romney sucks. There are times where I think that he sucks even more than Sarah Palin. This guy has been a chameleon from day 1 of the campaign, changing the script to whatever fits the moment. He hasn't just stretched and soundbitten the facts as is par for the course in American politics, he has outright lied repeatedly. Most heinous of them all was the claim that Jeep products destined for the United States would be built in China, a lie that actually prompted the CEO of Chrysler to speak up publicly. Similar lies were spoken about GM, to which their CEO responded. These lies were the basis of ads in Ohio, a state that stood to benefit from the auto rescue, and these companies in particular.

This is before you even get to comments Romney made regarding the 47% of the country that pay no income tax, and therefore are supposedly predisposed to vote for Pres. Obama. In any other country on Earth, speaking those words would mean that you'd throw in the towel long before it was over. But in America, where half of the country has been driven in one direction, and the other pulled in another... it's perfectly acceptable. This is before you get to Romney holding campaign events masquerading as "storm relief rallies", in which his campaign purchases $5000 worth of supplies from a local Wal-Mart, to use as props for the attendees to take place in a photo op meant to show Romney's charitable side. Never mind this was also the same guy who used a now-illegal charity trust loophole through his church to dodge taxes for 15 years.

There are numerous things I could write about Romney and why he sucks here, but I'll abstain. I'd like to focus on his opponent, Pres. Obama -- who has certainly not been ideal or perfect in his position. I feel he should have been tougher on the banks and investment firms sent our economy into the toilet, that he should have been more punitive toward those who had abused the trust of the people who had elected them in the administration prior, that he should NOT have continued the things that sucked from the administration prior (particularly keeping GTMO open, expanding executive power, and punishing whistleblowers that should be immune).

However, he has commandeered his post with a maturity I had almost forgotten was possible, given those who have sat in that chair in my lifetime. His prompt response to Hurricane Sandy's devastation to New Jersey and New York, was the antithesis of Bush's handling of such affairs. His steely resolve in the face of a brand of disrespect that goes beyond the typical given a partisan politician defies description -- and as for the things he's done in office, ending the Iraq War, setting the table for the end of the war in Afghanistan, and injecting a little bit of sanity into the joke that is the American healthcare system (to the absolute hysteria of his political foes). That alone, plus the gradual positive signs that the economy may be rebounding from the Bush Tax Cut Bomb, is reason enough to give him more time to push the ball along.

Yet, when it comes to politics, rational thought just doesn't always enter the equation. People have gotten absolutely insane since Obama was elected, not that it was anything I didn't expect. 2010 brought a wave of big money, conservative upstart entities into the system that seemed more petulant than anything else. The Republicans in Congress turned into an equally petulant roadblock to not only progress, but business as usual in Washington. Yet, even those who endorse Pres. Obama backhandedly for re-election (including my local paper, the Plain Dealer) tend to smooth over this fact, accusing him of not being "bi-partisan" enough -- when people like me have been complaining that he's being too accomodating to a group that is hostile to him.

I've seen numerous cases of businesses threatening their employees' jobs should they not vote against Pres. Obama on Tuesday. I've seen too much bullshit from other businesses whining about healthcare reform, passing the costs of their products onto the users. All this hostility that should have arisen after 2004, but was pigeonholed in the cage of despised "liberalism", much like the valid calls from many for the President to end his continuation of Bush-era foreign policy and civil liberties abuses.

Many Republicans (of the Tea Party strain) have made their disdain for women very clear -- there's been more cringeworthy talk about rape from candidates than you would get in a WeeklyTubeShow "Rapeman" parody, yet the latter seems much more palatable (and actually funny). Romney and others have made it clear that they wish to continue tax cuts and loopholes for the most wealthy among us, yet pretend to "reduce" the national deficit, without finding a way to increase revenue otherwise -- but somehow making sure all of those New Deal and Great Society programs that their neocon Gods and billionaire masters despise get the axe.

Even if you're of a conservative mind, all of these things that mainstream members of the [G]ang [O]f [P]rivilege are pushing nowadays has to read and sound like insanity. There should be no way that these people even win a seat as county dogcatcher, much less Representative, Senator, or President. The moderate (i.e. sane and cognizant of the world we live in) element of the party is being pushed out at an alarming rate.

The states are already starting to be infested with this extremism to the buyer's remorse of many who had voted for them. If Washington returns to a 100% GOP stronghold, with the power to replace the retiring members of the Supreme Court with more of the same as found under Bush? We might end up looking like Greece in a decade or so.

It's clean up time. The choice is obvious, yet I know there are enough to break this whole thing up, to deliver that familiar gutpunch that hits me every football season as an Eagle fan.

I really hate that "we" have to work 2x as hard just to get a baby step forward through the muck that is the political system -- even though the facts and everything else seem to be on our side. That we are the despised minority, and not the perennial incumbent. It's been nice for the last 4 years, not to have to deal with a circus surrounding the White House -- whether it be swooping down to a hospital to keep a woman on life support, throwing up at dinner with an ambassador, or our Commander In Chief playing "hide the cigar" with a female intern.

It really would be nice to have THIS be the default, from which we at the bottom could spur and suggest change the way that it's supposed to be. We know we're not gonna get it from the buttmunches in the red coats anytime soon.

And with that, I go into a week of work, dreading it, hoping that Tuesday ends as I wish it to. I'll even sacrifice an Eagle win (not that I'm expecting one) tomorrow, for the wins we need the day after.

Signing off,

Dr. Claw

Anti-Social Media
Absolute zilch has changed (for the better) since my last writing.

No matter what I do to try to start righting this ship, I lose interest, fall right back on the bottle and black out good chunks of my "free" days.

During my waking hours, I feel much like I'm controlling a Pretender shell more than actually living. Putting on an appearance. Distracted by the Internet. Head home, and basically vanish into the black hole until the sun rises again.

I don't even know if I really am serious about righting this ship.
I'd like to be completely away from the Internet.

I did have an "amusing" exchange with a cowardly troll that had him quite furious, unhinged, and taking personal shots of fanfiction in his futile attempts to rebut my provocations. Made me laugh.

I could pay someone to hear me say these words, whilst I sit on a couch
but I don't believe that shit will be any better.

I'd rather have some likeminded people to be around, instead of wasting my talents behind a screen. I have no idea where those people are, and it's a fairly sized metro area.

Somehow, I think the drinking and whatnot is my slow, but steady way of waving the white flag. Others just go a more extreme route; then people end up wondering, asking "What happened? (S)he had everything."

Not everything. I think people underrate the importance of having a confidant, someone you don't pay to voice your grievances. These people suffer in silence, and disappear the same way.

It's football season. The Eagles suck but have a winning record. I'm not that into it, and really don't want to get into the "Vick Sucks" stuff; I'm ambivalent. Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg (Offensive Coordinator) do suck but even that's nuanced. The bottom line is that there is little consistency. WIthout that, forget about the playoffs.

I have at least gotten back into playing fighting games online with my friends who are miles away from me. At least then, I seem alive, cursing dropped inputs and my tendency to run into super arts unblocked. But eventually, that will end up being more of the same.

It's about a week until the second anniversary of my father's passing, and I'm exactly where I didn't want to be. Completely lost, with no sense of direction. Backslid back to 2007 days.

Perhaps I will start this time, by slowly withdrawing from social media. Message boards, Facebook, Twitter, even this site. I'll update my music blog, I'll read my email and Autoblog, I'll watch Youtube, but I won't comment, won't mention anything. I need to GTFO this sinkhole until equilbrium is restored.

Might be a fool's errand, but fuggit.

-- Dr. Claw

Looking For That Corner To Turn
A couple weekends ago, I returned to a place I had not seen in over 20 years.

For four years, this is where I made my home, at times unhappily. Surely, on the surface, I had no reason to be upset. My family's home was as grand as it could be; even today, wearing a different color of paint and a host of new ornaments, it still has a certain regal stance. However, my experiences were not always such. I saw schools at which I used to attend, some others that I might have if I remained in town. I walked through downtown, went to a local hole-in-the-wall bar, ate at local restaurants, took tons of pictures. I found the homes of friends that were long gone. I found places in the area I always wanted to see. I found so many other places that held much meaning to me in that little town, even so much as the hotel where I made my stay for the weekend. Most of this was done without the help of satellite navigation, or my mobile phone -- things that were not even conceivable as attainable luxuries when I lived there.

I worked purely off memories. A whole lot of driving took me further into those memories, overlaying the painful ones that had remained with me when I had left, with much more fun and pleasant ones. Finally, I found some familiar faces, after much wandering about, in the church my family had once attended. These were faces that remembered me as a child, and my parents, who I knew at times were as unhappy as I, if not as isolated. However, I gained a much richer perspective just by entering those doors. To the people they had befriended, my parents were as shining as they could have been -- no clue as to how they felt in their homes. I learned much about my father in particular, even as I had done the most speaking about him; I relayed the news of his passing as best, and as candidly as I could muster.

It was yet another reminder that I have much maturation to do in my life -- a need to slowly, but surely wean myself from this prison of my own making. The Internet brings out the worst in me, surely as it is seen in the living journal of my on-going depression. Here, I can be without a face, without a name... and all my flaws out there on display.

I returned home to a world from which I immediately wanted to escape. Constantly reminded of the emptiness of my life from those around me, I bristle as I struggle to coexist with them. I could feel the lure of the darkness calling. Yet, I pressed on, looking to see if I could somehow replicate the experience of the past weekend. I continue to search for the local bar in which I can drown my sorrows. I went back to the church I had decided would be m own, though I am not particularly what one would call "religious". As it was, back in the place I had once called home, words that spoke to my current experience found their way back to me.

In my old home, the lesson was about sanctuary for those who had been condemned. Here, in my current home, the lesson was about the barriers, invisible and otherwise that isolate us, and the importance of living in a world, inclusive, despite those barriers. This weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if I heard another, speaking to the feelings I have inside.

I've learned a lot more about myself, the person I left behind 20 years ago in that old town, or so I thought. I'm ultimately an unlikable person, perhaps meant to spend the remainder of what time I've been allotted on Earth alone. As such, I should concern myself less with appeasing those who will never contribute to my well-being.

I missed the train, a long time ago. There's no going back.

In other depressing news, the Cavaliers just had the worst draft I think I've witnessed since the age of Trajan Langdon. There's no way I can rationalize it; it just angers me that much like so many things around this place, no one wants to be better.

That might include me, too. However, that was something that preceded my time here.

Some questions are answered, but new ones arise.

Looking for the answers,

Dr. Claw

The Doc Thought It Was You
Since my last update, the Facebook debacle is finally rectified.
If you wish to add me, you can do so here.

Six months have passed since my move. I'm not one pound lighter, and over all, my outlook on life is not much brighter. This is not to say I'm still in the depths that I once was; I've been pretty diligent in the gym, rarely missing a day. In general, my diet (until dinner time) has been consistent. Every now and then, the darkness calls.

One way I get dragged back down is through the daily routine; I feel like I'm being strung along at my job, with the rest of my comrades. Sticking out like a sore thumb in a veritable MENSA Club, no amount of platitudes and "nice things" can convince me that we'll make it through the long haul. I'd like to be wrong about this. In the meantime, I'm going to play the role. Not going to like it, though.

I have days where I feel like I can conquer the world, and others where I'd rather it all end. Thank the Matrix that another vacation is coming up. As part of my life's "bucket list", I'm going to soon return to a town where I once lived. There was no love lost between myself and this place, but there are places in the vicinity I'd always wanted to explore on my own. Armed with Yelp and the best of my memory, I will experience it as I might have were I just a hair younger. I'll visit places I once frequented. I'll see my old house, and others where I spent time. There may not be a single thing left for me there, but it is a chapter of my life I'd really like to see closed, my way.

I don't know how I'd ever share this life of mine with another. Every time I've attempted it's always been halfhearted, due to my (general) refusal to expend energy toward anything that does not meet my threshold of sustained interest (or even perceived utility). In short, nothing has really inspired me to take that forward step. Just a sort of empty "not wanting to go out like that" feeling.

Even recognizing that too much time alone leads to bad habits (in my case, drinking too much) isn't enough to motivate me.

There's just nothing there. Nothing that I live for, nothing that I work for, it's just something to fill the space between dawn and dusk.

I don't know where this is going.

Wandering In The Dark,

Dr. Claw

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Part Deux
What kind of PB&J is this?
To those of you who had befriended my newly-minted Facebook account: it's locked for some stupid reason. Who knows if it'll be back.

In the meantime, they can lick my balls.

Miffed For The Moment,

Dr. Claw

The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death
Look Into My Eyes
Some time has passed, and yet, I've gone nowhere.

I'm not any lighter. I'm not any happier. I can't be bothered to do anything beyond the minimum of which I'm obligated to do. Not really interested in putting forth any effort in changing it. All the distractions, all the placebos have yielded absolutely nothing. I spend money, but it gives me no pleasure. I eat, but it brings me no mirth. I drank like a fish, in a vain attempt to just "fast forward" through whichever day. And as I am now, I spend way too much time on this computer, wasting time. If I'm not there, or at work, I'm in the bed, shielded from the light, the sounds of whichever music or whichever Youtube video is playing in the background being the only in the room.

I miss my family, particularly my siblings -- all of whom I know are going through something similar, even if they do not make it completely clear to me. I worry especially about the first of my two sisters, who seems to be stuck in limbo since returning from overseas, and my brother -- a brilliant mind in his own right, hamstrung by his own impulsive transgressions of years gone by. My youngest sister seems to be most adjusted, but I know through her own account that even the most outgoing of us all deals with an unseen pain. They are all that remain of my immediate family, at this still rather young stage of life.

I'm trying once again, hopefully not in vain, to quit the bottle; it's doing me no favors. Never really has done me any, to be honest. I'd like to quit a good deal of this computer use as well. I suppose that will force me to take a long, hard look at my real-world isolation. My family and friends are scattered, and I often don't see or hear from them. I don't really reach out, either. I can't help but feel rather disliked, rather marginalized. No one out there really cares to hear your problems, even those who are trained to help you correct them.

Nonetheless, I'm waving the white flag, and trying to find someone who is trained in such things, to make some sense of this corner I've painted myself into. I've had my fill of the physical toll, and certainly the mental toll. I just can't do this anymore. I'd take leave from work, if I could afford it.

I remember Dad had once seen something similar in me years ago -- he had noticed my late nights on the computer, the general withdrawal from people at large. Certainly my mother's death had been a contributor, but the real truth was the unending feeling of failure in life that seemed to envelop me, despite the (superficial) evidence otherwise.

Then, as I have for years, I resisted outside intervention. Then as I am now, I am skeptical of the efficacy of counseling, of therapy, of medicine in matters of the mind of heart.

Now, facing the remainder of a life that could essentially be described as a zombie existence... I begrudgingly, perhaps against all that I've ever held dear, am going to have to put that aside.

Even if I don't really care what happens to me much anymore, there are others who would be affected by my zombification. It isn't fair to them, if this is something that could be avoided.

I type this here, for no reason other than to illustrate that there is no other place for me to voice such things. The void that is the Internet is one of the only things I truly trust in life -- ironic, considering it's one of the most untrustworthy things out there.

Such is life.

Or is it?

-- Dr. Claw

The Beginnings Of A Turn
Recently, there have been some headlines that have caught my eye.

One, of course, is the tragedy of a recent high school shooting in a town about 10 miles to the north of me, in the extreme boondocks, called Chardon. I've actually been to Chardon for my job, I have coworkers who live there (including one who had a daughter who witnessed the event), others who do business there... it just seems so surreal, not just because of the tragedy, but by how close it seems. I haven't even kept up with the news about it, but it is just weird to hear random people talking about something that happened not so far away. Put it like this: Chardon isn't a town you ever hear in conversation unless you live around here. I only hope that the families and friends of the victims, and the community in general is coping as well as they can.

Number two, I woke to the somber news that someone I didn't particularly care too much for in life, one Andrew Breitbart, has died. I think Cenk Ugyur of The Young Turks program mirrored my sentiment on the issue in a video addressing Breitbart's death: that he has died at such a young age, leaving behind a family is sad, horrible even. Personally, I can identify with this -- my mother was 45 when she left us, my siblings and I were fairly young, and it was just a devastating experience. To add to that, it felt as if Breitbart was becoming rather unhinged in recent times. From his outburst at a Occupy gathering, characterizing the participants as rapists just to gain more views on his site, to his recent appearance on the same Young Turks show a couple weeks ago, prompting a rather vitriol-fueled summation of his career on my part somewhere else on the Internet of which I was reminded today, or rather, yesterday -- Breitbart just seemed... disheveled, high-strung, just like on the verge of something less than stable.

And now this. I don't really feel good about his death, for a number of reasons beyond what was already expressed above. It will certainly mean that he is lionized among his supporters (some of whom have deep pockets and are a pernicious influence on American government and society), and that the solemn nature of death often gives a "pass" to those who don't really deserve it. Ugyur was more fair than I would have been to Breitbart, but he did drive the hammer down when it came to the smearing of Shirley Sherrod and the general dismantling of ACORN using tactics that were downright illegal. I don't like a number of other things he did that I won't discuss here. Most of all, I lamented that his brand of "journalism" was legitimized just because he had a crack team looking for "wieners" on Twitter and just happened to be right.

Of course, there's the argument that you can always focus on the things you enjoy in life. I don't have to pay attention to the Breitbarts of the world. However, it seems that even when I do that, I'm confronted with shit I just don't wanna hear or see. Case in point: the recent drama over the Cross Assault Internet "reality show" used as a promotion vehicle for the upcoming Street Fighter x Tekken fighting game. Now completely by accident, surfing at work on one of the sites that was not blocked, I read a curious comment about someone named "Miranda". I went further down the rabbit hole when I went home, and I found that they were talking about a chick who was selected for this Cross Assault show who seems to be rather "Claw-bait" and built to rather "Claw-approved" proportions and a face that isn't totally offensive. Of course, in a boy's club like many of these fighting game events tend to be, populated by the types that tend to be at this sort of thing, and sprinkled with Internet "goodness"...the combination was sure to be a recipe for disaster.

And I was right. Already I was disturbed by the fact that there was a tumblr devoted to the girl's body. I log on to Shoryuken today, and I find the shitstorm on full display. The situation with "Miranda" had devolved into a heavily documented case of sexual harrassment while the cameras were rolling, extreme opinions, a poor, ignorant defense of bad behavior, which all spilled into a referendum on the all-too-familiar "rape culture" charge that is increasingly being levied upon male-dominated mediums, such as video games and what not. The video game blog/mag Kotaku has been addressing these topics dare I say it, ad nauseum in recent months.

At the risk of sounding horribly insensitive: I don't wanna hear about this shit. Castigate the ones who are guilty, but if I have to be subjected to any more discussions about sexism in gaming, and about "rape culture" in general, I think I might just drive my Volvo off the Valley View Bridge. The shit ain't going to change by just simply making the plea to dudes to be more decent human beings. It isn't. And making a dude like Aris (the implicated harrasser in this story) do the perp walk isn't going to change things either. I realize that women don't seem or feel welcome at these events and I agree that in a social, public forum -- one should do whatever it takes to be welcoming to as many people as possible without subjecting them to an uncomfortable experience. I mean, it's like going to work. I can't go in to work and start scoping out asses and being a dillweed, I'd be fired.

But something bothers me deeply about this subject, or rather, how it is addressed, or rather the circumstances that precipitate the klaxons of morality. I can't quite figure it out.

Perhaps it's because I feel like the realities of what creates this sort of culture in the first place are ignored. Or rather, they're reduced to "misogyny" and "patriarchy" without any sort of nuance. I don't think male babies are born into the world, made to hate girls and women. Some sort of socialization over the years does it. Ideas, expectations are levied upon them. Some are painted into a corner, embracing mediums that seem to speak to the parts of the world from which they've been locked out. Just like the women in these discussions.

I guess I'm trying to say that it's a real hard sell to get adults to change up their game, because plainly, by then it's too late. I realize that may sound cynical to some, but I just have not seen enough hard evidence that it works... or it wins.

For as much as we as humans desire, or pretend to promote a moral high ground, to "turn the other cheek" to follow the golden rule... it never pays off. Those who do are either assassinated, or ridiculed. Some say that's the cross you must bear to effect change. Meanwhile, I'm seeing better results from the amoral nowadays. Or rather, maybe it's been like that for longer than I think. People don't want the "white knight"; they want the "edge", the want the "bad cop". They want what they want. Why deny them? I guess it doesn't hurt to spread the word of the evils of being a creepy douchebag, but it's a quixotic effort.

I'm tired of this losing shit, really.

Without a silver lining in this cloud,

Dr. Claw

No One's In The Lighthouse
Look Into My Eyes
For those who dwell on their own loneliness as a single person, the farce that is Valentine's Day can be 24 hours of agony. For me, I came to an even more dire realization: I truly believe that I have truly fallen out of love with life.

I admitted this aloud to someone tonight (and didn't pay for them to listen), and even saying it to a living, breathing person (even if it is over a telephone) doesn't even make it easier. Granted, I haven't really been in love with life for a number of years, and especially since my mother left us. I merely tolerated it, for the sake of family; I didn't want my father to bury one of his children -- didn't want my siblings to lose another loved one. Ending it through any unnatural means was never a thought, or an option.

But for some reason, my successes in life can't outshine my failures. I operate at a social deficit that is really coming down crashing on me at this stage of my life; I feel like everything is too far gone to really, truly remedy it.

Pride (among other things) prevents me from really doing what must be done. I liken professional help, with all the stigmas attached, to hiring a prostitute. Support groups assembled for the sake of being such, like joining an exclusive Loser's Club. It's still admission of abject failure.

At this point, I just don't really care anymore. I've no reason to.

This gross dissatisfaction with my life, has started to seep into every aspect of my daily routine. I can't get anything done at work because I don't see the point. There are some big changes happening at work, including an opportunity to broaden my career horizons, and I just...don't care. I don't know what I'm working for, much less what I'm working toward.

And then there's the Internet. A wedge from which I could stand to divorce myself. However, it seems to be the only place where I can hold a meaningful conversation with others on topics I actually -do- care about, funneled or otherwise. It's the only place from which I can connect to my dearest friends.

There's no easy solution to this problem, if there is one. I just don't believe anyone else cares enough for me to really feel like it's worthwhile; certainly I don't.

I don't know where I go from here.
But I think I'm pretty much done.

I imagine this is what my father must have felt in the last year of his life.

The one thing, the only thing, that still embitters me about his death is the fact he went out of life an unhappy man. Despite her ever-so-outwardly-diplomatic suggestions otherwise, my stepmother was not holding up her end of the bargain with my father. All accounts, from trusted friends, from family, and from pastors in whom he confided... indicate that he was ready to call it quits, after many years of sacrifice, hard work, and what have you. When he came up to visit me and my uncle out of the blue back in 2010, I was told that my father, reserved to a fault, came forward and spilled his guts about everything. That he was once again, at his end's wit...nearing a total breakdown over what was happening at home. He wouldn't allow me to see it, but I knew it was going on.

It was just like the uncles preceding him in death, one, his oldest brother, who had left us only a few months prior. There was always that tragic undercurrent. I'm fearful of following in their footsteps, but I feel like I understand them even more and more with each passing day.

I don't even know why I'm typing this.
However, here in the echo chamber... it's the only place right now where I can say such a thing without thinking twice.

Maybe I'll figure it out.


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