Monday, July 26, 2010


Today is a great day, a day to be celebrated! Well, it was yesterday, but it did not become an essential part of my consciousness until today, therefore it did not exist until this day. Wikileaks, a fantastic website of amazingness, Released a bunch of afghan war documents that illustrate just how fucking terrible the afghan war is and has been. And instead of simply being ignored like most other anti-war efforts, it’s been picked up and aggressively attacked by the pentagon and the white house and conservatives in general. It’s on the news! All over the place! Damage control damage control! Spin that motherfucker until he doesn’t know up from Sunday! This is great. Wikileaks has been around for a while (a while) but this is the first time they’ve really gotten under the skin of any major organization that they’ve leaked documents from. So now people are blindsided by this website and the founder is suddenly super on the news everywhere and Richard cohen refers to the site as “dauntingly mysterious” and it’s a very big deal.

This is the kind of thing we should expect from the internet. This kind of renegade gonzo personal-private reporting with an agenda and a message. This sort of activism. Laws are forfeit in the territory of the web, rules are coded or nonexistent. It’s a place where pretty much every viewpoint has an equal chance of reaching an audience that exists as the whole of the people with access to the internet. This is fucking amazing. It’s great! Imagine trying to start a publicly accessible civil rights or pro-communist forum in the 1950s. It would have been shot to pieces, the organizers killed or interred, the dissension silenced. Here at last today on this day we see the dissension reigning supreme, using the tools of its oppressors, the media that so thoroughly detains diversity promoting ideas contrary and in every respect treasonous to the government in power. What a day.

The ultimate question, the ultimate test for this is whether it will change anything. If it changes, if the regime in power reacts accordingly, if the war in Afghanistan is ended for reason of stark criticism and intense mismanagement, then truly the rebels have won and there is hope for society forevermore. Though, I have a sneaking suspicion that this isn’t quite it. It’s not nearly big enough, not nearly shockingly outrageous enough. It’s a proof of concept, an applied attitude, but this is probably not the giant-killer. We’ve yet to reach the point where all lies are laid bare and all truth is set free.

But it’s a start. And that is why today is a day to celebrate!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I haven’t unwillingly seen an advertisement on the internet for about 3 or so years now. I don’t watch tv, so every commercial that you’ve seen a few dozen times and you think is hilarious is totally foreign to me. Possibly the most visual advertisement I’ve consumed these days is from the out of doors, or movie advertisements. I heard a few on the radio at mcdonalds, too. Sometimes I read coupon books, which are a form of advertising, I suppose. Sometimes magazine ads. Newspaper ads, definitely.

Though, I think avoiding the ubiquitous tv and internet ads is probably the most effective at cutting down the amount of detritus I end up seeing. I was in a marketing class in high school. I was actually ina marketing organization called DECA, which stands for something totally irrelevant and misleading and I’ve forgotten what. It’s an association of (ta-dah!) marketing students. It was an interesting class. About half of the time it was covering various aspects of advertisement and marketing, the other half it was being marketed or advertised to by some school or other. We learned all about the color associations, how to write interesting copy, how not to write too much copy, how to make an advertisement, how to pitch a product or a concept to someone, and how to speak publicly and write speeches. It was a nice experience but a constant reminder that Marketing as an institution is vapid as all hell , and the people who study it are some of the least creative people on the planet. Pretty much every concept in marketing is ripped off of someone or somewhere else (most notably psychology or aesthetics) and twisted around and used to sell a product.

Marketers are lucky, though. They have some of the coolest jobs in the corporate world. They get to organize all the badass events and plan all sorts of crazy fun things that are sponsored by their company under the assumption that marketing is a necessary expense. So many of them are overpaid and underworked and get to have a rollicking time, all on their corporation’s budget. Hiring a marketing team is a hilariously double-edged sword because you’re hiring experts at selling a thing to sell your thing, but they are busy selling themselves as being experts and capable and worthy of the money you’re giving them first and before they sell your product. This is why 90% of advertising is shitty and forgettable. Because marketers themselves are shitty and forgettable people with a great ability to seem more important and more valuable than they are.

I am constantly shocked and amazed at the sheer amount of money poured into these advertising budgets because they have little to no relation to the reality of consumer purchasing. Advertisers like to claim that much of a well known and well loved product is due to its sheer ubiquity in advertisement; People buy coke because they hear about it and see it all the time. This may have been true in the early years of coke when no one knew what it was, but coke is such a strong and thoroughly ingrained brand in american life that it could shamble on more or less just as well as it has if coke decided to cease all advertising activities. People grow up being given coke as a kid these days. It’s an essential part of their lifestyle. If a child was raised in a strange backwards country where they drank nothing but off brand beverages or supermarket brand beverages, then they may prefer that instead. But coke is available everywhere pretty much all the time. There is no way to avoid it as a child, unless your parents are determined to raise you without it. My point is, sheer branding is far more successful and long lasting than any silly CGI commercial depicting bugs flipping the fuck out when they get ahold of some coke. It’s silly and unnecessary and expensive and stupid.

But it pays the bills. Damn, it pays a lot of bills. Marketers are very highly paid. Much better than I am. Or ever will be, to be honest. Even if I manage to become a professor or something, I will not be paid as highly as the guys who invent little jingles and campaigns to get people to buy dodge trucks or car insurance or whatever the fuck. They are also paid better than you are, unless you’re on your way to an overpaid engineering position or a similar marketing job. All the scientists and researchers in the world can’t measure up to the private sector. The thing is, it’s just money. And money is a physical thing. And you are a person with the free agency to take that money. So why not? Start hunting down people who are grossly overpaid for their terrible products. Hunt them down and kill them and take their money.

Well, not really, I just wanted to end on an action note, it being one of the things I learned from that class. I need to advise action in my speech because otherwise it’s just a rant. Then I summarize the problem again. Marketers are uncreative and worthless people who are paid solely based on their ability to seem more valuable than they are. This is unjust. Unjustice needs to be balanced by justice. Frontier justice.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


It’s a very exciting time. The tea party movement is radically flipping out about nearly everything, the Republican Party is behaving like a spoiled child and refusing to support any legislation, Obama’s ratings are in the shitter despite managing to get two major planks of his platform done in the first half of his first term as president. It’s pretty crazy.

I think the part I like best about the rhetoric is the concept that “the American people don’t want this” or “the American people didn’t vote for this,” or “this is being rammed down the American people’s throats.” What I like best about it is that it completely disavows democracy’s legitimacy and pretends that our votes don’t actually count. It’s a subtle way of simply calling the people in power tyrants. It’s funny, because the president was elected on a fairly comfortable margin. The former republican president actually lost the popular election, probably the biggest perversion of democracy to date. The people’s voices were totally ignored in his presidency. Whereas now, the democrats have a clear, if slim majority and a president in the white house and somehow no one managed to vote for these guys. To hear the rhetoric tell it, they literally snuck into the white house and capitol and suddenly became senators and president.

It’s incredibly disingenuous speech, and in some small way it’s dangerous. When the actual votes of the American people are being denied in favor of what one singular party tells you the American people want, it inspires exactly the kind of hegemony of thought it’s warning against. “Despite the results of the election, the people want a conservative and traditionalist approach to government.” I think I can, with reasonable confidence, say that even during the Bush years when inflammatory anti-Bush rhetoric was practically a requirement of existing in a political sense no democrat stood up and denied the legitimacy of the republican majority in Congress. They may have denied the Bush presidency, but that was largely for the fact that Bush really did lose the first election any way you slice it. Denials of Obama’s presidency were largely based on the ridiculous idea that he was not actually an American citizen, one easily countered and disproven.

All the same, when rhetoric spins around and becomes a common talking point or a popular tirade lede, people tend to believe it based solely on the passion of those who say it. If you’re going to tell a lie, tell it loud and tell it often. So lots of people really do think that the president is an illegal alien or that the democrats weren’t actually lawfully elected or that Obama isn’t doing exactly what he was elected to do. Because that’s all they hear from the fox news to the conservative websites (no newspapers, though, those are all run by left-wing Jewish media elites) to the talk radio on their way to work to the buddies at the office who all consume the same media and talk about the same things. It’s a beautiful thing, public manipulation. Karl Rove was and is a genius, as is Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and all the lovely personalities Rupert Murdoch has promoted through his own media empire. It didn’t start with him, really. It was William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer who developed the concept of using a newspaper owned and run by themselves to support their political ideas. The only real difference between then and now is probably the sheer quantity of media owned by Murdoch. He runs literally every kind of media it is possible to consume, from radio stations to tv stations to newspapers to magazines to websites to a film studio. If one so chose, one could easily only consume media produced by Murdoch owned corporations. And he isn’t even American! He’s an Australian with nothing but a vested interest in making a lot of money by telling people what people with money want them to hear.

So there are all sorts of people who believe all sorts of crazy things about Obama or the democrats or evolution or atheists or homosexuals or abortions or the way the economy works. It’s what they’ve been told. They aren’t stupid. No one (well, except people with legitimate mental handicaps) is really stupid. It’s the scope of their world. When a person lives in an area, grows up in a family that believes a certain worldview, exclusively befriends people with that worldview, takes a job with co-workers with that worldview, you can be damn sure that person will also have that worldview. People are products of their environment. Their environment is a product of their culture. That’s all it comes down to, in the long run. Culture.

Many are convinced that the Tea Party movement simply represents a wing of the Republican Party, and with all the anti-tax rhetoric, you might also be lead to believe this. However, the movement itself actually sprang more or less from Sarah Palin’s abrupt popularity and her adherence to a culture people felt that they could relate to. That coupled with the angry response to the bailout procedures of both Bush and Obama administrations has lead to something of an angry conservative revivalist movement. While the Republican Party has invested themselves in it quite a bit and developed some serious legislative cojones because of them, banking on them helping the Party to take back the senate this November will likely backfire, because the Tea Partiers aren’t just mad at the Democrats. They’re just mad, and totally unfocused in their ire. Huge political missteps, such as the treatment of BP during this oil geyser crisis and the nomination of totally reactionary politicians rather than ones who listen to their electorate will only hold the Party back.

The thing is, the culture that was so long defined by traditional media is being introduced and beset by a new form of media. I’m sure it’s tired and familiar by now, but the internet really is pretty unprecedented and magical. There’s a site, I’m sure you’ve heard of it, called “Wikipedia” that endeavors to create a free and publicly accessible encyclopedia of all human knowledge. This is a totally crazy and new concept and absolutely world-changing if administered correctly. How does one distort facts when they are immediately verifiable through a simple search of the internet? How does a singular culture proliferate when the outputs, reasoning, and comprehension of many others is freely available to anyone? Some people complain about a lack of focused spiritualism and a detachment from ideology in religion, with people who adopt them freely and without much thought to the metaphysical consequences. This is merely a result of the expansion of worldview, the knowledge that not only can other concepts of spirituality exist, they do exist. In the face of this incontrovertible knowledge, how can one accept a singular dogma? This has and will continue to change the political landscape as both party’s hidebound ideologies seem laughable in the face of such diversity. The tea party, the conservatives, and as a whole the entire traditionalist movement is largely fostered and supported in an environment where the usage of internet is limited at best. In places where the technology is readily available and information is cheap and easy to find, there is a much stronger streak of social liberalism and tolerance.

Possibly the smartest and longest lasting planks of the Obama administration and their infrastructure rebuilding stimulus is the promotion of broadband internet access for the entire nation. This should go a long way towards educating those in cloistered communities of alternatives to their way of life. It should bring options to the people. It should foster a worldlier outlook on the outward world. It’s a very exciting time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


George W. Bush is my hero. He’s putting out a memoir a week after the election. He’s totally staying out of politics. The closest he’s come is boosting his Haiti relief fund long after everyone else has forgotten about Haiti like the douchebags they are. What a smart way to go. Sure, it’s pretty much what every president has done immediately after presidency. But it’s so nice in the face of ridiculous billboards stating “miss me yet” and all sorts of “please come back and be our president again” talk. Then again he did start 2 (two) major wars and helped contribute to the inevitable economic slide (one thing you’ll learn when you live as long as I have, the president actually doesn’t have much control over the economy, but the president does have responsibility for it all the same. It’s like a rebellious teenager or something) and he did more or less steal an election. Plus he reacted to the whole 9/11 dealio (9 years ago almost) in possibly the most backwards and warmongering way. He fostered an America that was warlike and hostile about anything that deviated from America, from freedom fries to buying made in America products. He fostered nationalism, in that sense. Pride in our country for being the best damn country in the world. That’s what everyone who lives here thinks. Every last one. Even the people who are adamantly against everything this country stands for still think this country is better than anywhere else. Some even profess their desire to destroy the country as being because they love it so much, moved to tears on national television by their passion.

Tim Rogers, still basically my favorite writer ever, wrote an article a few months ago complaining about how much he disliked living in Japan. He enumerated the precise things he disliked and explicated his reasons. I thought it was a great article, especially in the sense that it highlighted a lot of differences in culture between the two countries. Many of his complaints were from a very American perspective of Japanese culture. The comments on his article were overwhelmingly negative, as most comments on his column (whiny little fuckers who complain about being “forced” to read a 15,000 word article. Pussies), but they were negative in a weird sense. Lots of people leapt to Japan’s defense. Lots of people demanded to know why he lived there if he hated it so much. Lots of people told him to sit down and shut up. I feel like the audience largely missed the point of the article, and Tim did too, so he published in the following month things he liked about Japan, which really didn’t inspire much more understanding in the audience but again did an excellent job of describing American culture as it approaches Japanese culture.

Inevitably, I live here, and I like to think that America is pretty neat inasmuch as people are capable of doing weird and crazy things and often do. I’m a huge fan of people who do whatever takes up residence in their head for no reason than it feels like a right and good thing to do. Gay culture bores me insofar that it has run its course and is understood as reasonably acceptable. Internet culture enthralls me because it is considered so shameful and taboo to belong to, yet people live much of their lives there. You might tell your family that you are gay, but would you admit to them that you browse a website where the word nigger is as common as the word fag and neither of them have much meaning anymore? Would you tell them you visit a website where all manner of sexual perversion are not only discussed but proliferated? Would you tell them you visit a website that finds the most offensive things funny, almost solely based upon their offensiveness? It’s the ultimate form of irreverence, a denial of the standards of sociability. It’s standing up and saying “This shit doesn’t even matter, why does it offend you?” But of course it offends. So no one admits it. I do feel like that only in this country could such a complete divorce from traditionalism occur. Perhaps other societies are more publicly free, perhaps France has more lenient standards for sexual behavior onscreen or at home but the societies themselves are fairly conservative and restrictive. Perhaps Japan has a more successful and popular paraphilia market, with more divergent concepts of sexuality than other nations, but the society itself is extremely narrow and uncreative. I feel like, if anywhere in the world would be able to achieve sexual and social enlightenment; it would have to be the U.S. The people here are simply more willing and more capable of acting out social deviance in public.

We’re in a country where we have developed and instituted the concept of the people having a right to privacy, despite there never having been such a right in any other country. We’re entitled to do what we want by virtue of de facto belief. So we do. There are all sorts of nuts all over the place, and we leave them alone. It’s not our problem. Even the most conservative prudes of us simply avoid the people they find distasteful, and mostly wave signs at them. It’s very cool, especially when you consider that not 100 years ago they might have formed up a posse and killed people who didn’t fit in.

The thing is, when will the pure irreverence of the internet become public? It comes in drips and drabs and terrible phrases but has yet to crack the shell of the world at large. As America becomes increasingly internet dependent, will people begin saying what they do on the net in real life? Will the words “nigger” and “fag” ever be understood as meaningless in reality? Maybe. It might not happen in my lifetime, and it might never happen. I feel like, though, if it were to happen it would happen here in this country. I believe in the power of expression and I believe that all expression is necessary and important. I understand that many people feel that there is a standard, a sort of speech that ought to be silenced because it ostensibly does harm to those who hear it. Insults and hate speech and the like. I reject this simple censoring of what is truly still there under the surface. Denying them the ability to express their hatred does not remove their hatred and does not help anyone comprehend the reason and purpose of their hatred. We must understand. Only through understanding why a thing is can we hope to change it. Simply smothering an emotion with society is about as effective as putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.

America (or, for sticklers and pedants, the United States of) is at an interesting sort of point in time here. We’ve been the largest and richest nation for some time now, and we’re getting used to our job as global police. The economic crisis, though, really was the result of the weaknesses in the system. Our country has relied on other nations for its prosperity for an incredibly long time, despite our constant refutations of the fact. We’re only the biggest nation because most other nations decided that we ought to be. China is one of our biggest supporters, as our companies love to set up factories over there and reap the benefits of what is essentially slave labor. The higher ups of china are perfectly okay with this, as they make plenty of money and for years they’ve been garnering influence as a nation that’s totally down with corporate greed and willing to shit all over its own land for the sake of profit. We literally can’t compete. There will be a war with China, but that war will be far too late and far too little to change anything. It’s not evil, really. It’s just a fact of life. It’s a fact of capitalism. None of capitalism’s huge proponents here in the U.S. will even dare to mention it, but China has been kicking our butts for years, because they play dirty.

That’s the thing about slavery, it doesn’t end. It never really ended. Slavery is necessary for the kind of lives that we live. There has to be some caste of people who do all the work in order for there to be another caste of people who don’t. After industrialization, we foolishly believed that technological advances allowing just a few people to produce food for hundreds would lead to an end to slavery. We believed that through our technology we would be able to minimize the work done so that the people may all enjoy leisure and hedony. It was around this time (1921) that the play Rossum’s Universal Robots was produced, further emphasizing this concept of existence. So the future was bright! Device, machines, automatons would be introduced for our use and all would be made by them and no one would have to work again. Of course that turned out to be too expensive and unfeasible. No technology for that sort of thing. Factory workers were used instead. But they kept demanding higher wages and rebelling and forming unions and cutting into the profit margins. Can’t have that. So we found an alternative. Build that factories somewhere where no one will form a union, no one will rebel, and you can pay them as little as you like because no one has money anyway. So Nixon went to China and here we are today, enjoy the finest quality of goods all of which traveled by huge boats to get here and be consumed by you. We live on the backs of the Chinese proletariat.

And it’s okay! You’ve never met one of them, have you? In fact I doubt you’ve even been to china. It doesn’t matter what happens in a country that far away. In fact, we’re angry! Angry that those faceless Chinese have taken all the good American jobs away from us. We’re angry that all of the technology jobs have been shipped to India. We’re angry that other people aren’t simply recognizing our inherent superiority. Keep those Mexicans out of here, They’re going to take what American jobs are left!

As is the case with most anger, not a whole lot of thought has gone into the problem causing the anger. We’re angry because of the results, the symptoms, but we do not recognize the disease itself. Rich people have money to buy things, poor people don’t: there is no mobility. We live in a country of consumers. We import everything because we can, and stunningly, we don’t even need to pay our people to do it, they’ll gladly go into debt to keep buying things. There’s no need to pay people reasonable amounts, just pay them shitty amounts and watch them shoulder a huge amount of debt. Hell, that’s what we do to the government, why shouldn’t we do it to the people? The people are the government, after all.

Tim Rogers said a thing a while back: “All around the world, people like myself and Bob are finding ourselves in a state where legitimately earning money is about as complicated as downloading pirated music.” Bob trades stocks online. He makes money doing this through some sort of voodoo magic and a willingness to stay on top of these things. Tim started a small business here in the U.S. that he’s very mum about. He moved to Japan to take various jobs there, but still collects the proceeds from that business, affording him a great deal of flexibility when it comes to the jobs he does there. The statement is true in a sense, but not true for the vast majority of people. Perhaps he has the knowledge and fortuitousness to succeed, but this isn’t a common trait in the populace. Being able to swindle people out of their money only works if there are people with money that are swindle-able.

That’s what America is made of. Swindle-able people with money. They believe in the system, but totally don’t realize that the system will never get them what they want. It’s the system that keeps them where they are, in fact. In a roundabout and horrible way, the people are the arbiters of their own poverty, forever trapped in a concept of living that encompasses their entire universe. Grow up, go to school, go to college, get a job, have kids, retire, all of it a series of expected events. Perhaps you’ll get a really nice job and come away with lots of money and be one of the many rich people in America. Far more likely, though, you’ll waste your time trying to follow an ideal you can’t afford and can’t handle until you find yourself trapped in the same pattern of behavior, unable to escape your own personal bonds, much less the bonds you owe others. C’est la vie, or at least c’est la American vie. So much sorrow, so much heartbreak, so many problems are caused by this, but the dream is there and the dream is real if nothing else is. America is a land of dreams hampered by reality. Or perhaps it’s a land of reality, supported by dreams. Either way, I’m glad I live here and not in china as a wage slave. Sucks to be them.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Sometimes when I close my eyes I try really hard to imagine I’m somewhere else and hope that when I open them I’ll be there. Sometimes when I reach for things, I try to use my thoughts to move the object into my hand, rather than moving in reach. Sometimes I snap my fingers and hope stuff happens. Sometimes I imagine I’m shooting a fireball out of my hands, or using my fingers to guide liquid from my drinks into my mouth. Sometimes I jump into the air and imagine not coming back down. Sometimes I close my eyes and pretend to be flying a space ship. Sometimes I pretend to be a detective in a film noir and I shrug up my coat and Mutter witty lines at myself. Sometimes I pretend to be British or Australian, depending on how well I’m pulling an accent. Sometimes I think of using the Robot to punctuate things I say to people. Sometimes I walk past people who look “cool” and break into a wide grin for no reason. Sometimes I pick things up and open doors with my feet. Sometimes I stack things in restaurants for no reason. Sometimes I flip coins to make my decisions. Sometimes I imagine that one day I am going to fall asleep and wake up and find out that I am still 8 and everything since has been all a crazy dream.

Sometimes when I stand up too fast when it’s particularly warm or hot I get very near fainting. I’ve only fainted proper once, because usually I remember to do the only thing you can do in that situation, take some deep breaths and lean on something. It’s a scary feeling because your vision goes out entirely in a haze of orange and there’s this great constricting feeling and your balance doesn’t work and everything buzzes. I imagine it’s sort of how it would feel to die. I get this problem once in a while. Particularly in summer or when I’m excessively tired. It usually happens in little bursts, and can be kind of unpredictable. It usually happens right after getting up, but sometimes it waits a little bit before hitting you.

I’ve looked up stuff about it, and there are a couple of explanations. Low blood pressure (huh), low blood sugar from not eating (plausible), some sort of a heart condition (runs in the family), all sorts of stuff. Any of them could be likely. I don’t know if I care. The internet says to go to a doctor. I haven’t been to a doctor in about 4 years. Can’t afford that luxury. My dad offers, but I never accept because I don’t like doctors anyway. Long story.

I really hope dying is sort of like that, because it’s not altogether unpleasant. It’s like taking a nap, only you’re standing and your eyes are open. I’ll let you know if it is, okay.

I went to a gambling hall because in Montana, you can waste your money at 18. It was really small, mostly because it was essentially a novelty attachment to the red lion hotel it was in. I was carded, which I find hilarious because for fucks sake, I look young but not that young. I hope. I was wandering around and looking at the fancy machines and it occurred to me, Hey, I already waste my money on novelty clothing and musical instruments. Gambling is just a different way of doing that without the ability to look silly when you go outside. I went to the bank that same day and was solicited for a savings account by the bank lady, and I told her that when I had one I often had the problem of having money in my savings that I couldn’t get to and needed, and that when I stopped running out of money all the time I would take her up on it.

Humh. Different day, I talked to a homeless guy named Randy (well, he talked, mostly) because I couldn’t hear him asking me for a cigarette and I didn’t have anything else to do. He’s been living by the railroad here in Kalispell for some three years now, made it through two winters. He told me he came from Oregon and lost all his money after his wife divorced him and spends most of his time doing odd jobs and begging. There are a lot of churches around here, so he gets by okay, but he was quite correct when he said that you can’t buy a job around here. He’s got some stuff together and told me he has a plan to go down to Florida on a discounted bus ticket for $128. When he gets there he plans to work on cleaning up the oil spill, because he heard (or thinks) that they’re just hiring people up down there. He got on to talking about how many rich assholes there were up hear and would yell and point out pickups driving by with boats on the back and tell me how expensive the boats were and how much he hated the guys with them who just tool around on them in the lakes. He told me about some houses that he worked on up north a bit, closer to Glacier, where single guys were building houses with dozens of rooms just for themselves. We talked about what a shame it was that they’ve been putting these big box stores in Kalispell (they just opened a Wal-Mart Supercenter, and it is ridiculously huge) but they’ve been building them way out of town, so he can’t even panhandle properly. He is apparently 60, and apologized for forgetting my name already because apparently he has a touch of Alzheimer’s, just like his mom had and died from.

We were interrupted by a swarthy, sort of overweight guy who was maybe in his mid to late forties who walked up to ask him about churches around town, and I was treated to the sidelines of a conversation between the two. For one reason or another the guy didn’t really acknowledge my presence unless I laughed. He apparently jumped off the train headed to Seattle in the middle of Glacier Park because He had some problem with a stewardess and felt like some other stewards were watching him. The police (“the law”) picked him up and dropped him off in Kalispell, and while he was able to get a hotel room for a night (at $100 which seems pretty outrageous for this area) but he didn’t have the cash for another one, so he was hoping Randy could help him find a church to help him out. Apparently the Lutheran church had agreed to help him, but hadn’t gotten back to him with the money, something that he swore several times about. He offered to let Randy stay in the room with him in exchange for the help and after some more discussion where Randy said more or less the same things he had already said to me, the two walked off.

Humh. At the wedding, I talked to a photography major in her senior year about a project she was doing concerning people who have had suicides in their immediate family or of a close friend. It was a multimedia project where she would interview them and then photograph them holding something that reminds them of the person who had killed themselves. She had taken a semester off of doing it, because she found the whole process emotionally draining, but was ready to gear back up and finish it. She talked about the fact that almost everyone she mentions the project to has had a similar experience, especially given the state of the State.

April said something about being passively suicidal. I really hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s a good description? I tend to explain it like so: my passion for living for the sake of living was broken a while back, one way or another. I continue to exist, certainly, but I don’t really feel like I have any ties here. If my life were hard, I might simply enjoy the challenge of existing, if it were insurmountably so, I think I’d quit. As it is, I’m just a bit listless. I want something to happen in my life that would create or justify a massive change, I think. But that’s gotta be me, and there’s not much I can do when I can’t even see two months from now. Ultimately, it was probably a mistake to go to college. Not because I don’t love learning or I won’t succeed, but I hate making decisions that I can’t change and debt is pretty much one of those. I’m not worried, though. I have no time or reason for worrying. Everything that happens happens because it was bound to and nothing could have ever been any different. I just dislike the concept that I may be tied to something for any reason. It’s funny to say that I breathed a ridiculous sigh of relief when I was informed that in the case of my death, my student loan debts will not be transferred to anyone else. Haha. People don’t believe that I’m this morbid, because I’m actually a cheery and relaxed person most of the time. I’m just ignoring it, is all. No reason to let your mortality prevent you from enjoying what life you have, right?