The most powerful item in the world weighs about a gram. It’s not sharp, it can’t kill anyone, and you can’t eat it. It’s a tiny little object that has the power to change your life. Need a hint?
Money is the most powerful thing on the planet. For all the shit Wolf of Wall St. gets, it was right about one thing: money can achieve anything.
We’re all greedy pricks when it comes down to it, it’s in our nature to be animals, so when given the chance, we jump on it. Look at all of the pharma executives who have more money than they could ever spend in a hundred lifetimes. Do you think they got to where they are by being nice?
Money has the power to change everything about you. You can buy new clothes to look the best you can, you can hire personal trainers and nutritionists to help get you into shape, you can support whatever hobby you’re into at the moment with enough money. It also has a negative effect on your mental health, interpersonal relationships, and the overall health of our planet.
Money provides comfort. That’s pretty much it. If you’re Old Money™️, you can do whatever you want; you can hire a personal chef so you don’t have to cook, which saves you time, you can hire a chauffer to drive you around, which removes the stress of being stuck in traffic, you can also hire an assistant to do all the annoying shit you don’t want to do, giving you more time to work on your golf swing, or to give you peace of mind before you go to work, or because what’s the point of having “fuck you” money, if you never say “fuck it” and do whatever you want.
At a certain point, I think aquiring wealth becomes an addiction. Why else would Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and every oil Sheik work so damn hard to get more of it? For their legacy? So their great-great-grandkids can grow up so detached from society that they become so hedonistic they spend all your money? I’m trying to understand it, but it’s escaping me at the moment.
Money is like oxygen: you don’t notice it, until you start to run out of it. The things people will do when they are poor and desperate only go to show you how powerful the almighty dollar is. Why else would someone sell heroin on a dangerous street corner, or take a chance and rob someone in a country with 400 million (legal) guns. Money isn’t the root of all evil, fear is, but the fear of running out of money can drive someone to do terrible things.
First of all, fuck all of those HeHaw Outlaw assholes who are trying to intimidate people who don’t think the same way they do. We used to go to war with dipshits like them, but now there are GoFundMe’s supporting them. Now, I’m not that smart, but even I can see that these mullets with assault rifles would get fucking slaughtered by actual soldiers who can run a mile without having to lay down after.
Personally, I don’t know if I could pull the trigger on a fellow countryman. I may want to pistol whip you, and knock the stupid out of you, but I think putting a bullet between your eyes isn’t the way to go. I have complete faith in my countrymen, I really don’t think we’re all that different when it comes down to it. I keep reading the comments on news articles, and it’s shocking to see the awful, disgusting opinions of the people who comment. I really think they must be horribly depressed individuals who’s only joy in life is to piss off as many people as possible in order to get that fleeting dopamine kick that keeps them from hanging themselves. I know I have the urge to piss people off from time to time, usually when I’m having one of those days where I’m desperate to feel anything, regardless of the effect it has on others.
I’m trying to be more positive and hopeful, and to make some changes in my life. It’s a huge pain in the ass. It’s not fun to look inside yourself, and hate what you see, but it does give you some motivation to better yourself. I hope that after the whole ‘Rona crisis is over, more people snap out of their bullshit and realize that they have to change their ways if they want to be happy. Or maybe they won’t.
There is something special about the time between 12 and 4am. It’s like the world stands still, and everything is in limbo. I get my best work done during this time, I don’t know what it is about limbo, but it crystallizes my thoughts, and gives me a different perspective on life. Since the ‘Rona struck, I’ve been staying in my house and trying to ignore the constant suffering that seems to have bled into every aspect of life in 2020. At first, I thought that I would adapt, and thrive, but that isn’t the case anymore.
In order to keep from losing my mind even more, I’ve started looking for ways to get out of my head, which for the front half of the year meant mixing bourbon with more bourbon, and writing whatever came to mind. This worked for awhile, but like all things, the usefulness faded over time until I looked at that fucking blinking pixel I hate so much, and had nothing to say. As the weather got warmer, and my insomnia got worse, I needed to find ways to tire myself out. This is where I discovered limbo. It all started one night when I was having one of those days that turn into one of those nights, that turn into that delightful feeling where you stare at the clock at 3am and count down the hours, minutes, and seconds before you have to wake up and be a person again. Obviously, my ” Go to Sleep” cocktail of 20mg of melatonin, a 100mg edible, 6oz of Eagle Rare, and a Zzzquil wasn’t working. At around 3:30, I had an idea: get up and go for a jog. Now, since it was the dead of night, and I’m a degenerate, I figured it’d be fun to roll a joint for my jog, so I did, and after a half-mile and a gram, my eyes started to feel the much-needed embrace of sleep.
This went on for a few days in a row, until I realized that while I was trying to beat my brain into submission, some interesting things came out. First and foremost, I had to make a playlist that encapsulates how I felt, because life is so much better with a soundtrack. After making a 4-hour long “‘Rona Radio” playlist, I started thinking about why people are afraid of the dark. I think it’s because they are afraid of what’s out there, and as I walked around my safe upper-middle class neighborhood, I started thinking about how many people are ruled by the fear of the unknown. I know I definitely am, but the more I walk around at night, surrounded by bears and coyotes and God knows what else, I started to become less afraid. After a few more weeks of nightly walks, I became more comfortable walking around at night than during the day.
As quarantine continued, I started to look forward to these night walks, they were a stable, crystallizing moment of my day where I could think clearly for a change. I think there is something beautiful about night time: it’s incredibly peaceful to be able to walk around by myself and not be bothered by anyone, to have complete silence in a world where everything is so loud all the time.
I’ve been thinking about why this time is so special to me, and I think I can finally put it into words: this is where time stands still. Since most people are asleep, it seems like time freezes, which gives me time to stop and think. I need that now more than ever, and since I’ve had crazy bad sleep problems for a long time, I’m already up, so it fits together very nicely.
I just saw The Professor: a movie where Johnny Depp plays a dying professor living the last days of his life after a cancer diagnosis. It’s got me thinking a lot about mortality, so if you’re not in the mood for a depressing read about accepting death, you should probably go read something else.
I think that Depp’s character’s nonchalance regarding his impending demise is commendable; he doesn’t tell his family until the last possible moment because he doesn’t want to upset them, he lives his life the way he always wanted to, without the constraints of society to hold him back. Yes, he’s a hard-drinking, nihilistic douche, but let’s be real here: you would be too.
I think about death a lot, not in a suicidal sense, but as more of a curiosity. I wonder what happens when the light fades from your eyes and you pass on. I’ve wondered if you’re greeted by someone who loves you, or if you have to make the transition to whatever’s next alone. I’ve thought so much about it, but I’m not in a rush to find the answer. People die. It happens, you can’t do anything about it, and it’s not up to you to decide who goes when, so just suck it up and accept it. You’re going to die someday, keep that in the back of your mind when you’re killing yourself trying to extend your life.
Johnny Depp, as I will refer to every one of his characters, really spoke to me in this movie. He’s been a tight-knit stiff for the majority of his life, but with the end within spitting distance, he goes off the rails and starts living life the way he always wanted to. I wish I had half the balls his character had. He says everything that people are thinking, but too cowardly to say out loud, and part of me respects that, but the other part of me just sees a scared man making sure that he has no regrets when it’s all over. He burns bridges at work, while still keeping his family intact for as long as he can. He bonds with his daughter and teaches her a valuable lesson on love. He rebuilds his relationship with his wife a little, before leaving so they don’t have to face his impending doom. This movie is about accepting life the way it is, and not how you want it to be. Your life isn’t going to go as planned, no matter how many fucking smoothies you drink or how many self-help workshops you attend. His sense of apathy is almost commendable, he doesn’t let anything get to him, not his cheating wife, his failing marriage, his shallow job with uninterested students, or his impending death. Late in the movie, Depp offers advice to one of his students, advising her to write the story of her life the way she wants, and that stuck out to me. This might not be the best movie ever made, or even the best movie Johnny Depp has done in the last decade, but I enjoyed it, and would recommend it.
Death probably is the end of your existence, but it doesn’t sound too bad. You won’t be conscious of the nothingness, you won’t get bored of the blackness, you won’t see the effect you leave behind, if there is any, so why are people so scared of dying? I think it’s because we don’t think it’ll happen to us. I’ve long come to terms with my mortality, I know that someday I’m going to drop, and the people who love me are going to be crushed, and I don’t like that, but what am I supposed to do about it?
Today’s the day. It’s finally here. I’ve thought about this moment so many times that whatever happens, I know it won’t live up to the fantasy I’ve created. I’ve decided that instead of doing all the usual unnecessary shit that I do throughout my work day, I’m going to take stock and think about what I’ll miss about this place, and what I look forward to never doing again.
What I’ll Miss:
1. Free Coffee.
2. The few nice Customers.
3. Getting out at 7 on Sunday’s.
4. Fucking with rude people.
5. Locking the doors on people after we close.
6. Listening to music on the store speakers.
7. Trying new flavor combos in my coffee.
9. Customers leaving nice reviews on Yelp.
10. Customers leaving ridiculous reviews on Yelp.
11. Giving stressed-out people free coffee, because we’ve all been there.
12. Listening to Raj yell at people for unreasonable things, like using the bathroom he just cleaned.
13. Listening to Raj act super nice when his boss is around.
14. Scaring new Dunks employees with customer horror stories.
15. Listening to full albums at work.
16. Introducing customers to music.
What I Won’t Miss Even A Little:
1. That On-The-Go ringtone that never shuts up.
2. Getting yelled at by entitled morons who think this is an upscale restaurant.
3. People throwing money at me like I’m a bad stripper.
4. Customers complaining because the prices aren’t the same as they were in 1976.
5. Coming home covered in greasy fat and coffee stains.
6. Customers assuming I speak perfect Spanish because I work at Dunks.
7. People placing $50+ orders, and not tipping after.
8. Customers taking money out of my tip jar to avoid breaking a bill.
9. People snapping their fingers while I make their food because they think it’ll speed things up.
10. Blatant heroin users coughing on their money and handing it to me.
11. Drunk people asking if I can add liquor to their drinks.
12. Customers making up flavors and expecting me to know what they are.
13. Parents who bring their crying kid in, and leave them at the counter.
14. Getting 4am calls from the District Manager, asking where the TV remote is.
15. Getting calls at 4:15am from said manager after she finds the remote.
16. Getting called in at 8:30am for a 12pm shift.
17. Having to work 3am-8pm because someone didn’t show up.
18. Coffee “connoisseurs” who can apparently tell the difference between 17 creams and 18 creams in their small iced coffee.
19. People who want their coffee “extra extra light”, then complain that their coffee is too light.
20. Having customers talk on their phone at the counter when they should be ordering.
21. Getting called racist because I ask someone to repeat themselves after they order in another language.
22. Getting cold brew thrown at me because “It’s not cold enough!”
23. Customers getting angry that we don’t have Pumpkin Spice in July.
24. Customers getting offended when I ask if they want their coffee iced or hot.
25. Old people telling me that “Hey Yeah” is The Devil’s Music™️.
26. People who try and order food 45 minutes after the ovens are off.
27. Customers who order small coffees in extra-large cups because they think they’re beating the system.
28. Getting yelled at because I didn’t finish the work that someone else was supposed to do.
29. Getting asked 6 times in a row if the decaf coffee they ordered is actually decaf.
30. Customers who don’t understand what “regular” means, and get mad when they order a regular and it’s not what they wanted.
31. Being told I got a raise, and making the same amount of money every week.
32. Having to do my boss’s paperwork because she wants to go home early.
33. Customers paying for big orders with change.
34. When I greet customers at the counter, and they look at me like I’m offending them.
35. Confused customers who try and get me to pump their gas because they don’t understand how 2 stores can share a building.
36. Customers who get mad that their coffee is on the counter, and not wherever they want to wait for it.
37. Parents who point at me and tell their kids “This is what happens when you don’t go to college!”
38. Overly-complicated sandwich orders that make no sense
39. Having to fix at least one piece of equipment every shift, none of which is ever replaced.
40. Always being out of something that multiple customers want
41. Getting yelled at because we’re out of something a customer wants.
42. Being treated like I’m less than a person because I work at Dunks.
43. Having to pee outside like an animal because the bathroom doesn’t work.
I’ve always noticed a connection between music and religion; they both try and explain the world around us, they both inspire us to be better, they both try to take us out of our heads. Kanye West literally featured God on Yeezus, solidifying my theory that he might actually need to go therapy and stop jerking his ego off so much.
Music is undoubtably art, but is religion? To me, art is anything that can make you feel something, and religion was called “the opiate of the masses.” Does that make religion art?
Those pastors at superchurches in Texas whip their crowds into a frenzy, and help them feel better about themselves, albeit for a fee. Are they not artists? Now, some of them might be con-artists, but I think the majority are just skilled public speakers who want to make a difference.
Let’s get back to music for a second. I’ve been on Twitter long enough to see some wild things, but the craziest of them all has to be “music Twitter”: where people debate who’s the best, who’s the worst, who makes them feel what emotions where, etc. This is where I started to realize the power these artists have, some of these people say that so-and-so’s music kept them alive, or helped them quit drugs, or acted as a safety blanket after a traumatic event. Isn’t that what religion does?
There are even some people who worship artists. I saw one person talk about Frank Ocean like he was a God amongst men, and attacked anyone who said any different. Is that any different than arguing about Bible interpretations or the Old vs. New Testament?
Almost everyone listens to music, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t, and truthfully, I don’t think I’d trust someone who isn’t moved by anything in any genre. Even Charles Manson liked music. It helps people see the world from different perspectives, which is something the world desperately needs right now. It teaches lessons to people who won’t listen to anyone else. It entertains us and turns the volume down when we have a bad day.
Music has helped me immensely, when I have a really awful day, I don’t want to watch TV, I don’t want to overeat, I just want to sit back and listen to my records and tune the rest of the world out.
It’s been a shitty day. It shouldn’tve been, but it was. I’ve always been intrigued by anger, why is it such a powerful emotion?
Anger is the emotion I probably feel the most, which is probably why I’m unhappy, but it’s also a key component in my accomplishments. Anger is the only truly renewable resource: you will never stop getting angry, you just have to channel that into something productive, or you’ll end up sticking the barrel of a shotgun in your mouth and clocking out. I’ve done so many things because people told me I couldn’t. My 6th grade English teacher told me I’d never make it to high school, I did. My junior science teacher told me I’d never get into college, I did. My first college advisor told me I should drop out, I did, but because I ran out of money, not because I flunked out. I think getting angry fuels you more than any drug could even dream of.
I think our rage comes from a biological place, prehistoric humans wouldn’t be able to bash a sabre tooth tiger’s head in without that warm, fuzzy feeling that you get right before you absolutely lose your shit. Think about how many things productive rage has accomplished; punk rock, Prince changing his name to something no one can pronounce, every political uprising, that monk who set himself on fire to protest the Vietnam War, all of it done because “Fuck you, that’s why.”
Is there anything better than meeting someone who hates the same things you do? Anger brings us together. Fuck Tinder, bring me an app where I can match with other people who hate people who put their phone on speakerphone in public. If we bonded over what we hate rather than hiding it, we’d be a more productive society. We need to teach people that being an asshole has consequences, and in the era of social media, public shaming is the best weapon we have. For every douche in McDonald’s, we have thousands of YouTube comments making fun of that person, and that’s how it should be. Every time I see someone absolutely lose it, I learn something. If the anger is justified, I learn that it’s okay to feel that way, and that I’m not a psycho for feeling the same way. If it’s not justified, I learn how to make the other person feel like shit so that if I’m ever in the same situation, I can respond accordingly.
I know this makes me sound like an asshole, and I definitely am sometimes, but it’s also good to learn how to use that assholishness to achieve a goal. Don’t bottle all that rage up, use it to shove your success down the throats of everyone who has ever doubted you.