Antagonists

In life, there will inevitably be those in life who will be against us. Those people are many. Whether they dislike you for some small, insignificant reason, from some transgression you have done against them, or for no reason at all; there will be those that will want to sink and maroon you. Those that will leave you abandoned, stranded. Those that would let go of the rope if they were helping up a cliff. Those that wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. Many times, it is quite easy to separate these people from those that care about your basic existence. Many times, it isn’t.

Far too often, these people tend to blend in. Sometimes they may lurk in the shadows of your life, or they might the be the person you sit beside in your home on your couch, watching a movie. It is so difficult to point these people out and thus they may be the most deadly. You can never be to sure of their intentions. You just don’t know until it happens. They start treating you like an outsider for no reason at all, they reject you. Not knowing who the antagonists can cause some form of paranoia and it starts to take a toll on a person, making them weaker.

The only solution to breaking down and eliminating potential antagonists is if they start to blend in with the spectator while you are at the center of some form of controversy. If you are being single out by another spectator, the person you thought was on your side will move themselves to the sideline watching you get humiliated or torn apart by another. They will stay in the shadows, a small feeling of twisted fulfillment will stir within them, arousing emotions of seething “just desserts”. When you fight with your significant other, they will not attempt to diffuse the situation, they will sit there and observe gleeful that things are heading south. You might as well give them a bag of popcorn.
One must always keep an eagle eye out for these things. Or else, there will be dire consequences.

 

– Scotia

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Paragon

As one progresses through certain stages in their life, they will encounter many different people. There are many from different walks of life. That is why it is in one’s best interest to keep an open-mind when it comes to these types of things. “These things” being people in general. It helps to facilitate a good working relationship and base for your interactions with others. Not everyone is going to share the same views as that backwater town you came from.

As stated before, you meet people. You make friends from these people. You make enemies from these people. You make disguised friends from these people. Most people will usually have a good group of friends and will usually end up having a neutral relationship with them. Most people will usually not feel ambivalent or strongly about anything they do or say mainly because of the fact that these people are politically-correct and will avoid confrontation at all costs. There is nothing wrong with avoiding confrontation but when you have to compromise your opinions in the sake of being “politically-correct”, then you have a problem.

Then there will be a portion of people that usually tend to polarize people. Some will usually have a negative to extremely negative view of the person (whether justified or not) and some will have a positive to extremely positive view of the person (whether justified or not). The actual percentage breakdown is dependent on the individual. The actions that the individuals have taken to get here are also dependent as well.

As on par the course with nature, there will be some humans that will decide to rise above the quicksand that is known as complacency. They are the driven ones, they are the ones that wish to carve out a better existence for themselves and the people they are in close contact with. They wish to thrive and strive to be the best they can be. As one climbs the social, monetary, physical (insert adjective here) ladder there will be people that will drag them down.  They are known in 21st century vernacular as “haters”. Many people brag about having haters, this is quite common in our cybernarcissistic hamster-wheel attention span culture. Having haters is a sign that you’re doing something right, no? The reality is, most people have not done much of anything to justify having a large span of haters other than being a complete asshole or jerk to people they meet. These people haven’t done anything revolutionary, they haven’t done anything innovative, they haven’t done anything creative. If they have any haters, it’s because of simple asshattery, nothing more nothing less.

Then, there are the people that have a large amount of “haters” simply because they are successful in some type of mastery. Whether it be business, arts, or sciences. People will be jealous of what they cannot attain. Mastery means putting in the work and effort to become a “master” in your given field, which correlates to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory. Many people are simply too lazy, unintelligent, or impatient to achieve mastery over anything. It is expected in this instant gratification culture to instantly be good at anything. No. It didn’t work for your grandparents and it sure as shit won’t work for you.

When mastery or dominance in an area is on its way to be achieved, there will be naysayers that will come out of the woodwork. Many of them will come out unexpected places. Many of them might end up being very close to you. These people will often tell you that your dreams, goals, and ambitions are foolish and you are better off doing nothing. The goal of these people is just to keep everyone who wish to follow their dreams down so that they will not have feelings of inadequacy every time they see you making a breakthrough. These people were too scared or lacked the resources to make their own breakthrough, now they are stopping yours.

The only way to reach Tahoe’s peak is to cast off these naysayers and plow ahead. A type of solipsistic self-indulgence is necessary, one that borders on the edge of narcissism in order to guard against this threat to sanity.  People gravitate towards mastery and dominance. That is why people in the upper echelons have more hangers on than they know what to do with.
The key, like everything in life, is to separate the good from the bad.

The Reason I Still Fight

Southern California Malibu by 45SURF Hero's Journey Mythology Goddesses on flickr

The sun beats down in the early day. Gunpowder shots deafen ears. The soldiers fall back and regroup. They run through the hilly valleys and disappear into the forests. More soldiers come into the fray from the sides, leaping over the fences and through the fields to engage in combat. Are they on the fight for the right? Whose to say.

Life is warfare. Everyone knows that. Some people are on the front lines, others fire the artillery, others give the orders. No matter where we are in the quasi-political hierarchy of life, we are all fighting for something. For some, it is love. For others, it is family. For the rest, it is for self-preservation. I fight for none of these things. I fight because I have dreams. I have a direction I want to choose in life. I have seen the future. It is murky, but it is solid. It is like peering through a rippling body of water and seeing an obelisk sitting on the floor yet not witnessing its distinct shape.

"Murky" by theothermattm on flickr

Being that I have only entered my second decade of life, my dreams and ambitions have often been derided by those that are much older than I am. These “elder statesmen” with their hubris have pushed my dreams aside like junk sitting on a work desk. I have often encountered the statements “you’re too young to know right now”, “you haven’t lived yet”, and “wait until you get my age”. These were the same people that have told me to reach for the stars and if I miss that I will land on the moon among other cliches…

I am seen as being overly ambitious and overly serious. I have been told to “lighten up”, to “live a little”. I suppose it is unusual to see someone who is 20 years old with a drive as strong as mine. As a healthy heterosexual 20 year old male, I am expected to drink as much as possible, commit reckless and often life-threatening behavior, and have as much sex before I become “tied down”. None of this has ever made much sense to me and I doubt it ever will. Since I do not conform to the behavioral standards set by a large majority of my male contemporaries, I am seen as “prudish”, “regimented”, and “odd”. In my opinion, a worldview based on finding your way inside a woman’s “Chinese box” at the end of the night is simply unsustainable and counterproductive.

I cannot blame these people, for they do not understand that I have nothing to lose but so much to gain. I have nothing to lose in the sense that I have not built anything up and I can only increase my standing. Then again, I do have something to lose. No one is waiting for me to fail with the exception of myself. If I do not reach my goals that I have set for myself, then I will consider myself a failure. The situation is too dire and the stakes are too high for me to fail, even though I hypothetically have nothing to lose.

Now that I have gone on about why I must succeed, it is a logical step to say what exactly I want out of life. The first and foremost thing I want out of life is relocation. The phrase location, location, location has always been important in life’s modern warfare and it will become ever more so within the coming years. I want to move out west. California to be more specific. I know what you’re thinking. “Everybody moves to California”. Well, there’s a good reason for that. California is known as being one of the most geographically diverse states in the continental United States and it has great temperatures all year round. However, I don’t want to move to Los Angeles and call it a day. To be more specific, I want to eventually move to this place in California called Big Sur.

Big Sur by carl_l_grant on flickr

Big Sur by karith on flickr

Big Sur by Slippy Jenkins on flickr

For those unfamiliar with Big Sur, it is a region on California’s Central Coast about a little halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is a three hour drive to San Francisco from there and a five hour drive to Los Angeles from there, that is if you take Highway 1 and if there is no traffic. Big Sur is a popular tourist location and for good reason. It is hard for me not to think of Big Sur and think of the values of freedom, mystery, and optimism. Big Sur is just a vast wilderness that begs for the adventurous to explore her curvy bends and tall mountain valleys. It is the perfect mix of forest and coastline.

However, as with many Californian cities, real estate here is expensive. That is why it is important for me to really shoot high and develop a game plan. I know this will not happen overnight, but it will happen. It MUST happen. I do not plan on moving to Big Sur immediately. I plan on exploring other locales first. Not sure if I want to live in Southern California or some other place out West before I make the move to Big Sur later on. However, no matter where I end up in a couple years, I do feel that relocation is central to the ideals that I have in mind and the dreams I want to see fulfilled. Wanderlust. Providing for all needs without having to worry about lack of funds. A breath of fresh air. Satisfaction. A new view on life.

My current environment simply does not inspire me. It motivates me, but it does not inspire me. My primary interest in life is creating art in all forms and I feel that my current environment is stifling and not providing me with the resources I need to do some truly great things. I believe a lot of other young people can relate to my situation, especially those with lofty goals and ambitions. Many of us are stuck in limbo, that uncomfortable space of being let go from your parents’ arms and trying to remember your lessons on how to fly so that you do not hit the ground. It’s that numbing space where you are trying to establish yourself as a free thinking adult, yet you are told by others that you are naive and that you know nothing. It’s discouraging at least, completely heartshattering at the very most.

Some people may disagree with me and say that paradise is what you make it. That may be true, but I have certainly tried to make the best out of my situation and I am certainly trying. However, I have lived here for too long and I need to get out there and see some other things. I am restless and my feet agree.

This is what motivates me everyday. This is what makes me get up at 6:30 am every day. This is what creates the faint tingle that keeps me up at night. This is what makes me put my nose to the grindstone every day, making sure all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s are crossed.

Whenever I’m down and feeling as if I’m on my last legs in the midst of this unforgiving modern warfare, I just think to the future about my house in California in Big Sur overlooking the Pacific Ocean and then I feel as if for once, that everything will be alright.

– Scotia

Big Sur Sunset by sbisson on flickr

Spectators

There is a force within modern society that has grown to a point of prominence that was largely unprecedented years ago. I have been noticing this force grow in number over the years and it is disturbing. This force is known as “the spectator”. Philosophers such as Max Scheler, Adam Smith, and David Hume have written about this force and how it has grown over the ages. They predicted that it would grow to become the principle influence on the lives of human beings in years to come.

What is the nature of the spectator? The spectator is omnipresent. It is a fluid entity that morphs itself to fit its environment. The eye of the spectator is inescapable. The spectator is unfeeling. Passive-aggressive. The spectator will shame a person into carrying out its will. The spectator is demanding. Relentless. The spectator will shower praise on others but not you. The spectator is unforgiving. The spectator will not forgive any mishap and will chastise you at the first sign of weakness or imperfection. The spectator disregards the individual’s core personality and praises that of outward appearance. It values lust, greed, arrogance, apathy, vanity, and hedonism. It eschews solidarity, understanding, sympathy, kindness, and an overall care for the person. This is not to say the spectator does not have a sense of morality. If someone does something that is not appeasing to the spectator such as child abuse, the spectator will come down on the individual in the most heavy-handed of ways.

What is the mission of the spectator? It wishes to put in place a model of life for the 21st century. It wishes for all of humanity to adopt a universal standard of decorum that is necessary to breed all of the unsavory natures of the human being. It wishes for a person to constantly compare themselves against others and will make the person feel inadequate and undeserving when a certain standard is not met.

Where is the spectator? The spectator is everywhere. As said before, the spectator has reached a state of omnipresence that would be impossible without the internet. The spectator makes itself most known on websites such as Facebook. People that are acceptable to the spectator will be showered with the highest praise. This comes in the form of “comments” and “likes” on that individual’s page. People that are seen as too far off the mark will be casted out and left to wither on the side of the road. The spectator will make this known by way of neglect, rather than outright opprobrium.

Who is the spectator? The spectator is a faceless entity. However, people automatically know the spectator when they come into contact with it. Though a faceless entity, the spectator will take various forms to meet its end goals. The spectator is the Church. The spectator is the students in the classroom that look at you as you give a presentation. The spectator is the people that watch you walk down the street from a walk of shame. The spectator is the music critics that review your latest effort to create music. The spectator is the investors that you try to pitch an idea about a start-up company.

Examples of people that have been subject to the spectator in recent years:

Michael Phelps after being caught smoking marijuana

Kanye West after interrupting Taylor Swift’s speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards

Sarah Palin has been called “uneducated” and “an idiot” in various publications

These are only three cases that have come to mind but the spectator does not only criticize celebrities.

Everyone who has lived in the Post-Industrial society has encountered the spectator more than once. The spectator will destroy your character and turn you into a tool for its own twisted machinations. The spectator is a very, very, strong force. One that has driven numerous individuals to suicide.

If we wish to return to a society where the spectator plays a superfluous role and that of the individual is greater, then we need to stand together against the spectator. I can’t do it alone. I’m only one man.

– Scotia