January 17th, 2002

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Lord knows I try to be good, I'd keep my promises if only I could

Well my far-roaming friend is safe and sound in his own bed tonight, for all none of you who were concerned. (And in a thousand homes across America, the sound of thousands of people not giving a shit reverberates as one.) He had a grand adventure of the globe-trotting movie glorified variety and has come back to regale the locals with wild stories of reckless abandon, gorgeous easy women, and corrupt police officers. That's right he was in Downtown Trenton all along!

But his trip does bring to mind the age old question. Is sorry really all that worse than safe? I mean he threw it all to the wind and went tromping off to parts unknown armed with neither guide nor language and ready to confront the whims of fate with nary a piece of gortex between his tender flesh and its harsh bite. On the one hand it seems kind of foolish to make such a decision without careful forethought and to expose oneself to that kind of danger and possible misfortune without contingency plans in place, but on the other hand if you spend your youth building castles to protect you you might find the drawbridge rusted shut when you want to get out.

Is letting go of everything just for the experience worth the risk? Is building a solid, logical, safe future worth the missed opportunities? Do these questions have answers? I used to think I had what it took to drop away from safe and head out into the great unknown, a ronin writer with nothing more than a trust fund, a thousand stories boiling in my brain, and a shitty attitude. But I balked at the precipice and at my mother's disparagement and it cost me about a year of recovery time before I could even poke my head out from the ruins again and try to rebuild some confidence. The fucked up thing is that I never even REALLY tried, it was just my failure TO try that resulted in my melt down. So now I walk the straight and narrow, eyes to the front left right left, no cutting in line, express lane 10 items of emotional baggage or less.

But the wild still calls and it turns out that the road to good intentions is paved in BORING. I started this journal as a place that I could express myself and see if anyone responded to what I had to say, and some people HAVE responded. It hasn't exactly been a tidal wave, but it's been a few and that makes me wonder what I could do without the constraints of telling the story of my life and the neccesary self censorship that comes with writing something that is ADMITADLY about yourself. Would I be able to write something I could finally be proud of or would I make like Dale Earnhardt and eat a wall? I can honestly say that I don't know. What I do know is that I'm not satisfied with just doing well in school and not engaging it and I want to change something. This trip my friend took reinforced that, he basically said "fuck the rules" and went out to look for what he wanted most (in his case it was pussy, but let's not get into tHAT argument) And he ended up happy about it. He gambled and won. And maybe it's about time that I take more of a gamble than just halfheartedly asking some chick out for coffee. Maybe I should shake some shit up, pull out the old Devil May Care take your fucking quiz and shove it up your ass Miss Macnaly Ben and see what he wants to do.

Maybe Maybe Maybe

ButI am somewhat comfortable and happy where I am now. Roll the dice or just make nice? It's a question I should give more thought to. I don't really want to be Mr. Conventional so I'm gonna have to jump the proven track at some point, the question is when. Before or after the degree?

Decisions Defuckingcesions.

Oh yeah and my mom is having a Brunch tomorrow with a bunch of South Africans which she didn't bother to tell me about till today, meaning I have no escape plans made yet. That sucks. I hate having old annoying women in this house. Nothing much I can do about it though, except make mommy dearest's life suck so she knows not to pull this shit without warning again. Not that I don't think she should have brunches, but her having brunches is always about how I have to clear all my stuff out of the house and put my exercise bike in my room etc, so it's a MASSIVE irritant.

I wonder if I'm hitting a sharp crest now. That would suck as I have nothing important going on for the next couple days. I don't want to be hyper and brilliant and BORED. It's not a funky fresh combo.
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Corruption and Greed, Corruption and Greed, go together like a bong and weed.

Enron. A company that was actually lucky to collapse when it did, in the wake of the world trade center disaster when nothing seems to matter quite as much as the war on terrorism. The thing is that Enron is REPRESENTATIVE of how this country works, and it's a scary picture. The more news comes out about Enron the more one wonders where the government AND The media were in this. Well the government was busy lining its pockets, but the media has almost less of an excuse. The media was busy reporting on Eminem's new movie and "fashion of the times". Enron didn't pay taxes for 4 out of 5 years, actually got a REFUND on the taxes it didn't pay *boggle* bilked its stock holders and employees out of BILLIONS of dollars, and now wants bankruptcy protection. Fuck that they should take every Cent Kenneth Lay has or ever will make and give it to the people he cheated. You shouldn't be able to set up a company which produces NOTHING, cheat the government out of scads of money through illegal account in the caiymans, and then cash out as your company crashes and burns. I don't understand how government people who have a roof over their heads and a chicken in their pot can allow this to go on under their watch. Have they no shame, or at least empathy for the poor? Why does Enron deserve to be able to not pay taxes while some poor working stiff making 30k a year can be nailed on evasion? How do you JUSTIFY it? I mean how do you let it go down on your watch and not feel like an absolute SHITHEAD? There's something that I fundementally don't understand. Our society is partially premised on the idea that there are brilliant, deep, meaningful people out there and that they find themselves in important positions. That capitalism is somehow synonymous with meritocracy. But it seems more and more as the days pass that the ruthless and not even all that cunning are the ones who profit from the system as its set up. The small tweaks of patronage and pork have become huge gashes in our socioeconomic fabric which allows all the muck and feces of the world to soak on in.

And while it's all good to sit around and say stuff like this, I wonder sometimes what I should do about it. Do I have what it takes to make an actual difference on any sort of meaningful scale? Do I have what it takes to try. I don't know. But the more I recover my self esteem and sense of self the less I feel sure about a straight academic path towards research science. The more I feel the pull of the political, the legal, the literary, the nebulous realm of humanities and humanity calling me. And Enron is an example of the sort of thing that needs to be changed. But am I someone who could have a shot at changing that sort of thing? I don't fucking know, I guess nobody does till they try, but it'd sure suck to try and fail. Just some more mental cud to chew at while I wait for the next semester at the academic sausage factory.