Thoughts from Paperbacks: How Real Is Real? by Paul Watzlawick

From How Real Is Real? by Paul Watzlawick (1977, Vintage Books):

…our everyday, traditional ideas of reality are delusions which we spend substantial parts of our daily lives shoring up, even at the considerable risk of trying to force facts to fit our definition of reality instead of vice versa. And the most dangerous delusion of all is that there is only one reality. What there are, in fact, are many different versions of reality, some which are contradictory, but all of which are the results of communication and not reflections of eternal, objective truths.

Improvised Stand-Up Set

I got on the stage and started going off on nicknames and it led to this mostly improvised set. It was fun. I think I improvise best when I already have something planned. Maybe it gives me confidence? When I just get up to improvise, I tend to try to remember things. I had a complete list of jokes ready to go, but when I started whining about nicknames, it set me off on a rant. I find the energy involved in improvising stand-up helps the performance.

The Environment and The Executioner

I’m sorting through my old paperbacks and came across this one: The Executioner #27: Dixie Convoy by Don Pendleton.

This is from the back:

Mack Bolan finds that the Mafia is moving over one billion dollars a year in stolen goods, drugs. and contraband along the Dixie Corridor into Atlanta. Then they repackage the hot stuff and sell if via seemingly legitimate marketing operations.

The Executioner has a different kind of recycling program in mind as he moves into the Southland and pursues his one man open war against crime.

I don’t understand what the war on crime has to do with recycling. I’d be interested in seeing the Executioner’s program down on paper.

Joseph Taking Jesus to Try to Lift Thor’s Hammer

Shakespeare in the Park for One

Some mornings you just want to get up and perform a little Shakespeare in the Park. This is Bottom’s “Dream Speech” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a show I did in college.

Tales from the Los Angeles Subway

Person: Does this train go to MacArthur Park?
Me: No.
Person: Does this train go to MacArthur Park?
Me: No.
Person: OK.
Person boards train.
Person: Does this train go to MacArthur Park?
Me: No.
Person: Aw, man!

My Utopian Manifesto

I had some free time at work, as I ponder my current job ending I find an angry little man deep inside me forced to live in a world of rules I don’t like.

Such frustration is an illusion, right? The world is a concoction in our brains and the ultimate conversation. I think the world should change. It doesn’t need to. What will happen will happen and so it goes. But wouldn’t it be more fun to actively seek a paradise, to explore how beautiful society can be?

Here’s how I would start changing the world to create better home for the human race. Warning: Rantings of a 35 year old man who thinks he has it all figured out.

Reform Property Ownership
People shouldn’t own property for the sole purpose of charging other people to live there. People pay a ridiculous amount of their income just to live in an apartment or spot of land. These prices are based on bogus social contracts that evolved from violent land claims. Let’s liberate this real estate money.

Teach Health Care in High School
We should teach basic health care in high school and create a sort of first-responder with the ability to prescribe anti-biotics and other medications. Infuse communities with more medical workers by creating “town medics.” This should take some of the burden off of the U.S.’s bogus health care system.

Create a Culture of Communication to Match Technology
I think we need to communicate better. I keep seeing arguments where people take disagreements personally and vilify people of opposing views. Not only that, but conversations seem to consist of borrowed phrases. I think we need to teach people to put their thoughts in their own words. Not just for my sake. I believe if we lay the groundwork for a culture that prizes conversation we will develop better solutions to problems as well as a deeper appreciation for each other. Bring language back!

Sustainable Lifestyles vs. Jobs
Sooner or later (or even sooner) the world’s resources are going to come up short. We can’t afford to go on consuming like we do. We’ll be far better off if we alter our habits before we are forced to do so. We keeping hearing that jobs are the solution to many of our problems. I think a shift of lifestyle is a better solution. More jobs increases the amount of consumption. Pretty soon we’re going to run out of things to consume.  Also, we keep developing labor saving machines then instead of taking advantage of the saved labor insist on increasing output (and thus consumption of resources). Let’s come together and teach each other how to provide our own food, shelter, and health care. This could easily be accomplished in cities (with creative ideas such as vertical farming). This isn’t a cry to return to a life of farming, a simpler life of day consuming chores. I think if we all come together and work on building sustainable communities, it will free up all sorts of time. The forty hour work week is a parasite to the market of ideas and human energy, deceiving many people they have to devote their waking hours in a fully mechanized world to providing life’s basic needs. If we all come together we can produce a sustainable quality of life and free up time for enterprise, art, and exploration.

Less Reliance on Regulation
Democracy will not be possible in a society that relies on government to be a hulk of power. Government should be a tool, not an authoritative entity, to help in providing education, quality of life, and aid during disaster. Everyone should participate or at least be heard. Government should be a conversation. Reliance on regulation for structure ignores the emotional and mental maturity many of us are granted in adulthood. We should have more confidence in ourselves to make decisions and government should reflect the abilties of the human adult (and people should act accordingly, a paradox I know). Rules and laws shouldn’t be abandonned, a reliance on a fictional “legislative god” should. False gods are not only scary because of the devotion they demand but more so because of the chaos that manifests when they crumble. 

Legalize Drugs
We should stop treating health issues as criminal behavior, as that very approach creates worse criminals.

Sitcom Houses Creep Me Out

When watching a sitcom like Charles in Charge or Who’s The Boss, I often get an eerie chill down my spine. What bothers me is the houses. The clean, never changing houses. There’s something about them that says, “This is all there is to the universe. This house is all. You shall not pass.” I find those sitcom house sets revolting but not on a critical level (I’ll laugh at a good Who’s The Boss with the rest of you) but on some sort of “my existence is now questioned” level.

It’s almost as if the sitcom house is showing us what normal living looks like. How we must behave, what we must have. I don’t believe this is the intent of these programs (although they are pretty much made to sell advertising) but these artificial families and their environments threaten me. It’s almost as if I’m told to write a book and the sitcom tells me what the final chapter must entail. It’s creepy.

Strangely, I don’t get this feeling with The Brady Bunch house. Maybe because it’s so big? Maybe because The Brady Bunch had such an expansive universe (The Grand Canyon, Hawaii, the driveway where they did that play, the phone booth George Glass called from)? Maybe it’s because I felt the Brady’s had serious flaws that were obvious and comforting. Cousin Oliver’s cold sore being a prime example.

Notes from the 11/5/12 Presidential Debate between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson

It’s election night eve and FreeandEqual.org hosted a debate between two “third party candidates” former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. The debate was broadcast live on RT.com (Russian Today–a state sponsored Russian TV network).

I like both these candidates as they both seem to sink their teeth in the issues Romney and Obama happily ignore. Below are some rough notes I made. I think either one of these candidates is worthy of a vote.

Things Libertarian Governor Gary Johnson and Green Dr. Jill Stein agreed on:

  • GMO Food Labeling
  • Wikileaks is not a threat. The government needs to be transparent.
  • Climate Change is caused by people.
  • End our wars abroad.
  • End military foreign aid–Stein supported humanitarian foreign aid. Johnson opposed all foreign aid.
  • Current laws limit civil liberties; we’re in a police state. Current powers of the President are frightening in regards to the rights to assassinate U.S. citizens and detain them without trial (NDAA).

Issues Stein and Johnson argued about:

The Environment
Johnson: Private sector can clean up environment because consumers will demand it.
Stein: Government needs to produce a Green New Deal.

The Economy
Johnson: Let companies fail, bailouts lead towards an economic collapse. We can’t spend money we don’t have.
Stein: Government needs to help create green jobs as part of a Green New Deal such as developing a solar sector.

Taxes
Johnson: Abolish IRS as well as corporate taxes. Eliminate income tax, have just one Fair Tax.
Stein: Increase taxes on rich and corporations.

The Internet
Stein: Net Neutrality creates a free and open internet.
Johnson: Net Neutrality is an example of crony capitalism and will limit the internet.
Stein refuted Johnson’s claim that Stein is for the government running the internet.

Interesting quotes
Johnson: “The roots of our police state lie in the War on Drugs. Let’s legalize marijuana.”
Stein: “Treat environmental disasters as attacks on our nation.”

But let’s not forget Candidate McOwskey:

Covers of The Transformers Theme by Lion

I always loved Lion’s rendition of the Transformer’s Theme. And I love cover bands.

This one is not a cover of the Lion version, but still rocks:

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